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Jukebox FAQ

Posted in Discussions by thotrther on the July 11th, 2012

AMI (the Automatic Music Instrument Corporation) introduced the first jukebox in 1927. Be it a roadhouse, café or bar, every establishment had to have one in a craze that swept the US.

The trend was slowed by the prohibition period but after sales increased a lot. Some famous names are AMI, Wurlitzer and Seeberg. Each produced variations on the main design. Art trends formed a key part of the machines with Seeburg’s Art Deco designs creating a series of eye-catching models.

Wurlitzer created a number of designs, it’s model 600 being the most popular for a period being roun-cornered, wood/metal trimmed. The peacock was a design which had painted peacocks on the casing, this was the 850, and also used light effects to create a visual experience.

David Rockola became important prior to the war. He purchased patents which allowed him to start the Rockola company. This is the only surviving independent jukebox company today. Rockola jukeboxes are some of the most classic designs.

The machines played music which spanned many distinct types of music. Such artists as Bessie Smith and Muddy Waters, who were largely excluded from the radio, were also played.

Jukeboxes were an important part of our social culture, as well as drop-dead gorgeous machines that made people want to get up and dance.

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