A gumball machine is a machine that dispenses gumballs when you deposit a coin. The first machine to carry actual gumballs came around in 1907, but would not be patented till 1923 by the Norrise Manufacturing Company which produced machines that accepted pennies, or nickels.
The gumbal machine consistes of a clear sphere that sits upon a base, which is often metalic. A coin oraphice near the center of the base with a turn handle located near by, and a desposal chamber. The turnhandle drops the coin into the machine which then allows the turning of gears which release the ball by gravitational force down a spiral, and into the chamber for recovery.