Music Players and Jukeboxes (1 of 1)- PennyMachines MUSEUM
Main MenuMain MenuMain MenuMain MenuMain MenuMain Menu

Nifty number on the jukebox Museum

Music Players and Jukeboxes

Simple instruments like the wind-blown Aeolian harp suggest an ancient history of automatic music originating with the discovery of music in nature, in conch shells for example. The golden mechanical age of the 19th century brought coin-operated machines that reproduced musical performances with clarity unequalled by modern hi-fi. Digitally programmed by pinned barrels, punched disks, cards or rolls, they re-played tunes not through a speaker, but on real instruments. The reedy sounds emanating from the ear tubes of Edison's Phonographs (1877) were no match in vibrancy or volume but included a vital new ingredient that was to prove decisive - the human voice. As such, they were the true forerunners of the jukebox which became the public purveyor of popular music from the late 1920s onwards.


Click to enlarge


"He Who Pays the Minstrel Calls the Tune" reads the motto above this quirky Manchester-made jukebox which offered 32 selections by playing both sides of sixteen 78 rpm records via a modified Wurlitzer Simplex mechanism and an even more dated amplifier. It had all the ugly-duckling charm of a Citroen 2CV.

Arcadia Acoustic Automatics, 1952

John Johnson (

pointer Click image to enlarge



Music Maker

Music Maker

This unpretentious looking jukebox is actually a Wurlitzer Lyric imported from Germany and dressed up by Ditchburn (based near Blackpool) to look like a British product.

Ditchburn, 1960s



Click to enlarge

Sirdar Polyphon

Patent No GB189825067

K Bender & Co. 1898