Zeno Collar Button Vendor

Zeno Button Co. c. 1905

The Zeno collar button machine is a really cute little vendor. I have seen quite a few of these over the years but hadn't paid much attention. I was stuck to the thought that if it didn't vend gum or nuts I didn't want it. I have since modified my thinking and discovered that there are some very nice vendors out there that I like as much or more than some gum or nut machines.

This vendor comes in a nickel or dime version, I assume that the dime version came after the nickel version simply because price of collar buttons would have gone up over time. The machine pictured above is the nickel version. In "Silent Salesman Too" it is pictured with a tin marquee on top, this is a very difficult item to find but they are out there. Another collector told me that they have reproduced the marquee so be careful if you are buying one.

The Zeno name on this machine can be confusing or misleading to some collectors. In the vending world Zeno is usually associated with Zeno Gum which comes out of Chicago but this Zeno machine was made by the Zeno Button Co. of Indianapolis. It could have been a subsidiary of the Zeno Gum Co. but I don't think so. I have never heard or seen a relationship between the two companies in any of the advertising that I have seen for Zeno Gum. It is hard to believe that two companies picked the same unusual name but for all I know it could be a common sir name in some far off land and it just happened that two immigrants to our country started up businesses and used vending machines. Somebody with more time than I could probably find the answer but it is fun to come up with strange theories sometimes.

This example is 100% original.