Can you hear the music now? You pick the song.
What us: Wurlitzer 1015 One More Time Jukebox (OMT) Vinyl
What was: Rudolph Wurlitzer’s forefathers emigrated to America in 1853. He was 24 years old.
Rudolph Wurlitzer founded The Wurlitzer Company in 1856. At first he imported musical instruments and opened sales outlets in American cities. He started production of pianos in America in 1880. In 1896 he introduced the first coin operated pianos. The famous theatre organs followed. They were manufactured near Buffalo.
With the crash in 1929, Farny Wurlitzer, youngest son of Rudolph, bought a patented music box mechanism at the beginning of the thirties, and took on it’s inventor, Homer Capehart, and a designer, Paul Fuller. This was the beginning of the “Golden” era for Wurlitzer with the first jukeboxes which played the old 78 shellac records. Wurlitzer quickly took over 60% of the booming jukebox market. The Wurlitzer Jukebox became a familiar sight to every restaurant or bar customer with the first “P10” model. After inserting a coin, one could select a song from a choice of 10 shellac record titles. In the Thirties, the Jukebox became the “small man’s concert hall”.
In the early Forties Wurlitzer produced some of most handsome dome top jukeboxes the world has very seen, which were made almost completely from wood due to wartime material restrictions. Wurlitzer had to call a halt to the production of jukeboxes due to the war in order to produce important war products such as radar components. These machines are prized as being the world’s most sought after and costly Jukeboxes.
The Wurlitzer 1015 became a big hit in 1946. It sold more than any other model in the 20th century. The “golden era” of the jukebox continued into the first post war years. The “Silver era” of Jukeboxes began around 1950. The design was changed, the 45 single made inroads, and the selection from 100 titles became standard. Jukeboxes with shiny chrome and magical lighting began to be produced. They became a fascinating focal point in any bar or café.
By the end of the Fifties much of the earlier classic styling had been lost. Tooling costs to produce new models each year and compete with rival jukebox manufactures had weakened the company and the jukebox boom years were coming to an end.