It was 1931 when the Central Ice and Cold Storage Company of Los Angeles rolled the dice on American’s buying ice from a machine. The Serv-Ice Vending Machine sold 25-pound cakes of ice for a mere 15-cents. The cakes, wrapped in wax-coated paper, dispensed from a machine that stood 12-feet high and eight-feet square.
By the next year, 24-hour access machines stood in various locations in Los Angeles and San Diego.
How affordable was ice from a vending machine? Fifteen cents in 1930 was a bit more than the cost of a gallon of gas – but would be around $2.06 in 2012.