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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 4 (August 1, 1927)

Automatic Machines

Automatic Machines.

More than two thousand years ago, Egypt gave us the first automatic machine. This was a primitive slot machine which, in return for a five-drachma piece, delivered a cup of wine. To-day, a host of wonderful automatic machines have been pressed into mankind's service, and, in the railway world, devices of this kind are everywhere in daily employment.

Of all British lines, greatest use of automatic machines is made by the London Underground Railways. Something like two hundred automatic ticket-issuing machines are in service on this system, supplying about 50,000,000 passenger tickets annually. Other ingenious devices installed on the Underground include machines for the sale of sweets, cigarettes and matches, and automatic time-table, picture post-card and postage stamp distributors.