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Automatic Phonographs

In the late 1800s, automatic phonographs were found in amusement parlors and public gathering places. They introduced the phonograph to a large segment of the public. But the early coin-in-slot machines had very limited sound capability and offered few selections.

It was during the 1920s, when electrical recording and amplification techniques were introduced, that the potential for automatic coin machines increased dramatically. The increased use of electricity also enabled manufacturers to build machines that were completely automatic. It was not until the 1930s, however, that the name "jukebox" became associated with the automatic phonograph. The term "jook," meaning to dance, was a Southern word of African origin.

The most active era of jukebox manufacture was from the mid-1930s to the early 1950s. During that period, there were no fewer than five manufacturers vying for the public's attention. While pre-World War II machines tended to have subdued wooden cases, those following the war were likely to have bright lights, colorful plastic, and chrome to attract the public. By 1950, jukeboxes were playing 45-rpm records and offering patrons 100 or more possible selections. The last Wurlitzer jukebox was produced in the early 1970s.

 

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Radios, musical instruments, sheet music, movie posters, and other music memorabilia surround the Model 1015
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Radios, musical instruments, sheet music, movie posters, and other music memorabilia surround the Model 1015 "bubbler" jukebox.


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