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Oldies Jukeboxes of the 50's
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Remembering the 50's Jukebox Era

History of Jukeboxes

 

"Tour of the Wurlitzer factory located at North Tonawanda, N.Y., showing the manufacture of 'coin-operated phonographs.' A color sequence introducing the factory and its surroundings is followed by a black-and-white kinescope showing the different stages of production."

There was a time when listening to a song meant putting a 45 or 78 record into the record player. While that was fine for the home, something better was needed for listening in restaurants and other public places. By the 1900s, jukeboxes were innovated with with coin slots and selector switches. As the popularity increased, the jukeboxes became decorated with colored, blinking lights, bubble tubes and many interesting stylings.

Table side Seeburg Jukebox. By the 40s,the jukebox arrived into its golden age of styling with the gothic electric rainbow cathedral theme. Probably the most popular and well known jukebox was the Wurlitzer Bubbler. In 1953, the Seeburg was manufactured to play 50 45 rpm records. It had rotating mirrors and bright colorful glass tubes. You may remember it from the sit-com "Happy Days".

Floor standing Wurlitzer Jukebox. So let's say your high school cutie to the local restaurant after school. There will be about several jukboxes inside. The smaller ones were mounted on the tables sides (table-side jukebox, probably a Seeburg) and then there was a BIG one holding about 100 records...that was probably a Wurlitzer. Hopefully, someone else would spring their quarter for their favorite song that just happened to be one you'd like. If not, you popped your 25 cents into the machine slot. Most of the time, the popular songs was just that...popular and well liked by all...unless you had unusual preferences... no personal i_pods back then!

Music listening has progressed greatly over the decades. Who would have guessed that someday, a person could just type their singer's name or song title into a "computer" and have it immediately start playing it! Magic! ... and for FREE!

 

 


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