In 1910, the rotating slot machine appeared as a device for dispensing chewing gum and gave us the symbols still used on slot machines today.
The spinning flavors were cherry, orange, and plum.
Each wheel had a bar reading “1910 Fruit Gum,” and three of those in a row paid off in a jackpot of gum.
But, also like today, if any row came up a lemon there was no payout at all, which gave us the disappointed expression, “It’s a lemon.”
A disappointing purchase or investment is often called a “lemon”.
The term may also be a metaphor for something which “leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth.”