Image Number 12 for United States Patent #7077288.
The present invention provides a vending machine of the single vend type for dispensing newspapers, magazines, or other items. The machine generally includes a housing having a discharge opening, and a storage area having an inclined surface upon which a plurality of articles are stacked. A movable gate adjacent the storage area retains the articles therewithin. Upon insertion of a proper coin total into the machine, a drive device moves the gate downwardly until an uppermost article in the stack passes through the gate and is dispensed. The dispensed article, upon passing through the gate, actuates a switch to cause the drive device to reverse and move the gate upwardly a distance above the uppermost article in the stack, such that even if the machine is shaken, jostled, or tilted, the uppermost article in the stack is retained by the gate. The machine is also automatically sensitive to variations in thickness of the articles, as the switch controls operation of the gate responsive to the actual dispensing of an article.