Apparatus is disclosed which is adapted for use primarily in vending machines of the coin-operated type. A conveying mechanism is provided which may be used in a variety of different styles of vending machines. The conveying mechanism includes extensible and contractable endless rails on which an endless link conveyor is mounted for travel. Each link of the conveyor is an extruded element having a tray or divider projecting from one surface. Male and female hinge portions project from the other surface at edges thereof for hingedly connecting adjacent links, and the hinge connections are arranged to travel on the rails. Sprockets are mounted adjacent to the rails, and the hinge connections are in mesh with the sprockets so that the turning of one of the sprockets will cause the conveying mechanism to travel on the rails. Various arrangements for loading and ejecting articles to and from the link conveyor are also disclosed.
18 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures