Crane Merchandising Systems
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (April 2009)|
|Type||Automated vending equipment manufacturer|
|Founder(s)||B. E. Fry|
Crane Merchandising Systems, or CMS, is a designer and manufacturer of vending machines. Crane manufactures models sold under such brand names as National Vendors, Automatic Products, GPL, Dixie-Narco, and Stentorfield. Their manufacturing facility is located in Williston, South Carolina, United States.
Crane Merchandising Systems was founded in 1926 by B. E. Fry, a St. Louis businessman, as the "National Sales Machine Company." Fry invented a more foolproof vending machine that would only accept coins, unlike older machines, such as the "Smoketeria", a cigarette vending machine, which would accept things such as flat buttons and cardboard discs.
The Great Depression
By 1931, National Sales Machine Company was a well established business, manufacturing a variety of merchandisers for various food products. However, The Great Depression proved to much for the company, and it went under in 1932. Soon thereafter, in the spring of 1933, Fry's son, B. W. Fry, reopened the company as National Vendors, Inc. In 1934, Al Diederich joined B. W. Fry in National Vendors, giving it the administrative strength it would need to grow during the tumultuous 30s and 40s.
World War II - 1960s
During World War II, National Vendors took part in the war effort by producing mortar ammunitions casings. After the war, the company returned to the demand for convenient cigarette, candy and pastry vendors. In 1956, National Vendors was acquired by the Universal Match Company, allowing National Vendors to introduce several new products. In 1967, National Vendors introduced its first full line of automatic merchandising equipment. CMS was acquired by Crane Corporation in 1985, and became Crane National Vendors.
The company unveiled a new product line in April 2012 featuring machines offering integrated cashless payment, wired and wireless network access, and a modern user interface. Brad Ellis, the company's president, is also chairman of the National Automatic Merchandising Association, the trade association for the vending machine industry.
- "Crane Merchandising Systems History". Retrieved 2012-05-08.
- Mobile Convenience Store VendaMarts Puts Wheels on Traditional Storefronts, Carts Blanche, 2014, retrieved 7 January 2014
- Jed, Emily (April 23, 2012). "How Crane Plans To Revitalize Vending: User-friendly 'Media' Series Links Patrons And Suppliers". Vending Times. Retrieved 2012-05-08.
- "National Automatic Merchandising Association Chairman Brad Ellis Notes Industry Progress In Addressing Challenges During OneShow In Las Vegas". Retrieved 2012-05-08.