Salvation for a Nickel

salvation for a nickel

November 5, 1927
Chicago holy water dispenser

Have you been seeking a quick and inexpensive way to get spiritual enlightenment, a sugary treat, or a pack of smokes? Well, thanks to the field secretary of the Chicago Bible Association, Reverend G.K. Flack, you can satisfy all of your cravings in a few minutes with your spare change. (Except for condoms – you will surely burn for eternity if you purchase the Devil’s sheepskins!)

Reverend Flack has placed dozens of unique vending machines in Chicago area churches. They are stocked with Bibles, Testaments, and separate books of Scripture. That’s right brothers and sisters, simply press the button corresponding to your salvation needs and shout HALLELUJAH! (Does Elmer Gantry know about this?)

The good reverend may be surprised to learn that his idea has a precedent. The first coin operated vending machine was devised by ancient Greeks to dispense holy water.

Oh well, it’s all Greek to us.

Εσείς σατανική μηχανή! Μου δÏŽστε μια Βίβλο ή μου δÏŽστε την πλάτη χρημάτων μου!**

(**You infernal machine! Give me a Bible or give me my money back! )

Maternal Manipulation, 1907-style

June 29, 1907
Los Angeles 

Police are in possession of a pleading letter, penned by Chicago hardware store merchant O.A. Derrough, and intended for the eyes of his runaway son Joseph. In the month since the 16-year-old ran off with cousin Robert Smith, both of their mothers have fallen into a pitiable state. Mrs. Smith is a nervous wreck, while Mrs. Derrough claims that she is dying–but that all will be right again if her boy will only send word that he is alive.

Derrough contacted the Los Angeles police with his plea because the boys had sent a picture postcard with a local postmark. He believes his son is using the name Adams, and asks that officers do everything in their power to find the Chicagoans and persuade them to return home.