Posted on November 23, 2016
Put in your coin! Make your selection! Now rock, hop, dance, prance!
|From a large machine|
with 1 to 8 records (each
with its own turntable!)
to a teeny-tiny machine
with half a million songs!
A jukebox is a really, really, really old-fashioned version of an iPod – a machine that has stored in it some great tunes and a way for people to choose when to play -- and which tunes to play.
Of course, a jukebox is a heck of a lot bigger than an iPod!
Which you can understand when you realize that the musical technology of a jukebox is records and turntables!
On this date in 1889, the very first jukebox went into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco!
But the very first jukebox was a lot less dancing-friendly. The listeners had to stand near the machine and listen through stethoscope-like tubes! The tubes operated individually – each listener had to put a nickel in the slot in order to be able to hear the tune.
There were towels there so that customers could wipe off the end of the tubes after listening!
The fellow who installed this marvel was named Louis Glass, and he called the big, cumbersome music player a big, cumbersome name: nickel-in-the-slot player.
And although big and cumbersome, the nickel-in-the-slot player became an instant success. Soon its popularity spread all around the world!
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