Here are some more snippets of information on the Watkins Patent dispensers.
Although several seem to have turned up in the States, they are British made, manufactured by T J Watkins of Watkins Patent Delivery Machines, Shrewsbury, for dispensing small consumables such as matches, air rifle pellets, billiards chalk, gramophone needles etc. in clubs, hotels and theatres for one or two old pennies.
A collection of bespoke matchboxes printed for Watkins dispensers, advertising the venue: http://www.matchboxlabelsuk.co.uk/galle ... temId=1746
This ebay sale of a Rare c1930 "T J Watkins Patent" Billiard or Snooker~ 1d Penny Chalk Dispenser
shows some good close ups of the mechanism. It looks very simple, as befits a dispensing machine designed for club, rather than general public use.
That one sold for £427 on Nov. 29th 2015. Another was sold by Morphy Auctions for $1440 on May 03, 2015 but one at Gerrards Auction Rooms
on 15th Oct. 2009 was a snip at £26.
As none of the dispensers actually quote a patent number, and because the mechanism hardly appears innovative, I rather doubt that Watkins held a patent for these. In any case, the mechanism was probably similar regardless of the item vended - whether needles, pellets or matches, the dimensions of the box dispensed could be exactly the same. What I see is a chute to carry the penny down to a counterweighted drawer release. The coin will rest upon the drawer release until you pull the drawer forward, dispensing the product and allowing the coin to continue off the release to the cashbox at the base.