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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

AMERICAN AUTOMATIC VENDING CO.

AMERICAN AUTOMATIC VENDING CO.

The AMERICAN AUTOMATIC VENDING CO., which sold goods through vending machines, was founded in 1933 by Louis and Miriam (Gometz) Golden as the Golden Tobacco Co. The firm's name was changed to the Ace Cigarette Service Co. about 1936 and began significant growth with the rise of electric vending machines. By 1946 it had become one of the nation's largest cigarette vendors. In 1950 the company merged with Industrial Vending, and broadened its line beyond tobacco products to include hot and cold drinks, candy, sandwiches, and canned food.

The company maintained an aggressive growth policy. By 1961, when the company was renamed the Ace Vending Co., the firm's net worth was $1.4 million. At that time the company had 22,000 vending machines in 7 states and had become the largest vending and food service company in Ohio--and one of the 10 largest in the U.S. In 1962 Ace Vending merged with the American Automatic Vending Corp., which had been established in 1946. By this time there were a number of wholly owned subsidiary companies. In 1972 the firm's name was changed to the AAV Companies. In 1983 AAV divested itself of its vending and food service line, which was sold to a group of investors. The sale included the AAV name, so the original AAV company became the Tranzonic Cos. The vending company later returned to the American Automatic Vending name. In 2003, the names of Tranzonic's 4 divisions indicated its current focus: personal care, industrial textiles, housewares, and industrial packaging.