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Tike Miller
(J.H. Miller) the inventor did not set out to create one of the most unique vending machines to ever be constructed. He merely wanted to replace a broken piece for his Holiday Nativity set. When he went to the department stores he found that they only sold full sets. Seeing the need, he and his wife started making plaster Nativity pieces in their basement. Soon he had a factory of his own making dozens of plaster figurines that he now sold in those same department stores.

 

In later years Miller crafted additional lines of figurines. They made a line of Space Invaders, Jungle Animals, Holiday Specialties, and of course his famous Dinosaurs. The difference in these figures was that they were made with a waxy plastic instead of plaster. It is thought that this is where Miller first started his experiments with plastic and his new plastic injection process. Tike then made hundreds if not thousands of wax/plastic dinosaurs in his Quincy Illinois factory, using his plastic injection molding machines.

 

In the late 1950’s Tike Miller sold the rights to his idea of a souvenir making machine to Automatic Retailers of America Inc. for the next few years he worked with ARA in the development of a new vending machine that could make a wax souvenir for anyone with twenty five cents. A new division of ARA was born, and the term Mold-A-Rama® was sprung on the American consumer.

 

Some years after Mold-A-Rama Inc. was dissolved by ARA. Tike Miller was back to wearing his inventor hat. Recognizing the value and the popularity of Aluminum his newest creation reclaimed this precious metal and then paid the recycler cash for the aluminum cans they had deposited. Years ahead of its time the “Golden Goat” as it was called could fit in any supermarket parking space, taking up only a couple of spaces. Tike Miller truly was ahead of his time.