August 27, 1896

Elmer F. Pierson was born in Kansas City on this day. He and his brother, John, founded the Vendo company, maker of the first reliable Coca-Cola vending machines. For years they dominated the vending machine industry.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.