header image 2

Looking for Out of This World Retro Gifts, Kitsch, Signs & Furniture. Visit Retroplanet.com

Fruit-O-Matic Vending Machine

May 20th, 2008 · 33 Comments

All Images are the Property of and Copyrighted to Vintage Vending Inc.

This 1950 model Fruit-o-matic fresh fruit-dispensing machine was touted as “A fully automatic fresh fruit merchandiser”. Made by the Fruit-o-matic Manufacturing Company, this machine dispensed chilled, fresh fruit. A coin was dropped in the slot corresponding with the row of fruit displayed in the window above the slot, and the fruit automatically dropped into the dispensing chute for it to be retrieved.

Features listed for the Fruit-o-matic are:
Hermetically sealed noiseless refrigeration unit
Standard coin mechanism with a slug rejector
Fluorescent light on front panel
Baked enamel finish

And in addition, the Fruit-o-matic incorporated “all the features that make Fruit-o-matic the ideal fresh fruit merchandiser for new fields, diversification and year ‘round profits.” The ad that appears here includes two testimonials regarding the popularity and dependability of these machines. One review is from the Executive Secretary of the YMCA of Hollywood, CA and the other is from the UCLA store manager. The photos here show the Fruit-o-matic being used in schools, at the Y and at bowling alleys. There is also an ad from a vending machine trade publication informing those who will attend a trade show to be on the lookout for the Fruit-o-matic in room 730!

A video of Jane Mansfield using the Fruit-o-matic can be viewed at YouTube:

Manufactured by:
Fruit-o-matic Manufacturing Company
5225 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Have you, or anyone you know ever used a Fruit-o-matic? Email us and let us know. We here at Vintage Vending have seen many vending machines over the years, but have never run across one of these.

Tags: Fruit Dispensers

33 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Martha Burr // Feb 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I have a deep Proustian memory of this machine when I was growing up in my Middle School in New Paltz, NY. Every day I’d drop a dime into the machine and get an ice cold, deep red Red Delicious apple out of it. It was my daily snack that was my daily re-boot. What I wouldn’t give to have one at my six-year old son’s elementary school in LA today!

  • 2 fruitomaticfan // Mar 14, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    They had one at my middle school in Los Angeles in the late 1970’s. I would get mostly apples, golden delicious–or oranges. They cost 10 cents!

  • 3 LB_FruitOMaticFan // Jul 10, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    My high school (Millikan in Long Beach, CA) had one in the late 1980s. I always enjoyed the chilled and crispy apples from the machine!

  • 4 dan // Aug 24, 2009 at 10:38 am

    What ever happened to them? Seems like such a great concept. Especially with all the healthy eating trends now.

  • 5 Ellen Mykins // Oct 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    We had one in the cafeteria at St Agnes High School (Rochester NY) in the late 70’s! I loved it…my favorite snack!

  • 6 John // Feb 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    My high school in Salem, Oregon had a fruit-o-matic in the main foyer across from the office and next to the auditorium entrance. Cold crisp red delicious apples were sold out daily for 25 cents each. I bought apples once or twice every day. I would love to see these things in our schools today. I know my grandkids would love them.

  • 7 paul // Feb 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I have a Fruit-O-Matic.

  • 8 Mark Virden // Mar 23, 2010 at 8:22 am

    My dad had one of the largest Fruit-O-Matic vending routes in the country in Kansas City. At one time, he had over 200 machines. I still have one that works and is in excellent condition, including the original working air conditioning unit. He was called “the fruit man” and had many friends in many schools througout the area.

  • 9 Chris Haley // Jun 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I had a Fruit-O-Matic at my highschool, Uni (University) Highschool in Los Angeles (1991)
    I believe it was 75cents and was the best, coldest and juceist fruit ever.

  • 10 Darrell // Sep 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I have one, just wondering what it would sell for. It weighs as much as 2 refridgerators. I am moving soon and do NOT what to move it.

  • 11 Julie Barone // Oct 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    We had the exact same vending machine just outside my second grade classroom at #13 school in Rochester, NY. The fruit was 10 cents each. There should one(or several) in all schools!!

  • 12 Abraham Hoellrich // Oct 24, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    We had one of these in my high school in Versailles, OH. Sadly, it was removed around 1990. I think I bought and ate my first fresh pear from it.

  • 13 Greg // Jan 27, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Hey Darrell, have you sold yours yet?

  • 14 Mark Virden // Feb 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I have one in great working order with the refrigeration unit. I would sell if if anyone is interested. In Kansas City

  • 15 sonya powell // May 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I would love to buy a Fruit-o-matic in any condition. Please contact me if you have one or know of one. Thanks!!

  • 16 Mark Virden // Jul 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Sonya, I would sell you ours. It is in Kansas City area in a garage. Email is mvirden@virdenassociates.com.

  • 17 Seymour // Jul 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Rutgers University’s Cook Agricultural College stocked several Fruit-O-Matics on the Cook / Douglass college campuses into the 1980’s.

  • 18 Darrell // Sep 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I have one in my dining room that I need to get rid of. It works! Weighs about 500 pounds and broke my tile getting it in the house. A conversation piece for sure, but I need to redo my floors, and it is just to heavy to move around. ;-)

  • 19 David // Oct 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Darrell,
    Have you sold your Fruit-o-Matic yet? Where are you and how much $ will you sell it for?
    Best regards,
    David (M.A.C.Animal)

  • 20 laura // Oct 22, 2011 at 12:20 am

    We have a fruit o matic in a old school i manage. I would like to get rid of it?

  • 21 Tom // Jan 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Laura Where are you located?Do you still have the machine?

  • 22 Tom // Jan 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I have a vending Mech. and The Glass door for the Fruit-o-Matic if anyone needs,

  • 23 George // Mar 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Tom call me about vending mech, glass door 540-222-4785

  • 24 Gary // May 25, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    I had used one at Brighton high school of rochester ny in the 70s. I would like to purchase one for my office. Please email me at

  • 25 Cookie // Feb 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Our high school had one in Los Angeles with the most delicious fruit, especially peaches! Wish they were still around!

  • 26 Rosie // Feb 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Yes…I have seen one of these…and know where one is…anyone interested in buying it?
    do not know if it is working but probably can be repaired…last inspected in 1977…have photos if interested.

  • 27 Vicki // Mar 16, 2013 at 10:23 am

    We had one at our school (Stockbridge Valley Central School) in Munnsville NY. They had a few varieties in the machine. I remember loving and buying (for 10 cents) the yellow delicious apples.

  • 28 Mike Colonna // Apr 29, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Worked at NBC Burbank from 1966 to 1974. The first year as an NBC Page then moved up to NBC and KNBC News. On the first floor, below our news room, the infamous Apple Machine. One night, in the late 60’s I was on my way to the KNBC News Studio with late news script. Standing at the Apple Machine, trying to figure out where to deposit his dime was Elvis Presley. Showed Elvis where to deposit the coin, he bought me an apple, we walked to the News Studio where I introduced him to Tom Brokaw. A regular guy in a tight black leather outfit taping his one man show. Elvis wanted an apple during a rehearsal break. I was all “shook up!”

  • 29 Rosie // May 31, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    We have one at a former Junior High…in Euclid, Ohio…please contact me if interested.
    Not sure if it works but all the graphics are intact. rkimosh@yahoo.com

  • 30 michael // Jun 7, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Can the fruit-o-matic machines be retrofitted to accept dollar bills? Anyone know of fruit vending machines? Not packaged fruit but real fruit?

  • 31 Robert Juengling // Feb 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    We at West High, Rochester, NY had a “Fruit-O-Matic” in the hall, near the Main Office, (1966-1971). Many a breakfast for students was an Ice Cold Apple or Ice Cold Pear. When we toured the School at the 30th reunion many remarked that they wished that the High School still had the “Apple Machine”. Probably removed years before! It certainly staved off hunger for a dime!

  • 32 LAura Kidder // Mar 6, 2014 at 11:21 am

    We have a fruit o matic machine. I was wondering what would it take to get it working again? and what is the value of this machine should we decide to sell it?

  • 33 Jim // Jul 9, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Lincoln Jr. High in Santa Monica had one when I went to school there (1976-1979). I remember buying fruit from it during summer school. I loved the juicy, cold, plums and nectarines. Even today, when I eat a nice cold nectarine on a hot summer day my sense memory brings me right back to junior highschool and the fruit-o-matic next to all the other vending machines.

Leave a Comment

All Images are the Property of and Copyrighted to Vintage Vending Inc.