Do you want to own a piece of musical history? Bid on a variety of jukeboxes from Rockabilly Auction Company! View our upcoming auctions or call our team at (770) 652-8075 in Hartwell, GA.
Imagine visiting your favorite local bar without listening to classic tunes. Jukeboxes revolutionized how we listened to music. While many associate jukeboxes with 1950s and 1960s tunes, the history goes far beyond this period.
At Rockabilly Auction Company, we’re passionate about vintage jukebox history. We collect classic jukeboxes and auction vintage pieces so everyone can own a piece of history. Whether you have an item you think we may be interested in or wish to bid on one of our affordable jukeboxes, we can help.
The History of Jukeboxes
The first jukebox began in 1889 when regulars of the Palais Royale Saloon paid just five cents to place their ears against the “nickel-in-the-slot” machine, sending scratchy classical music through a series of tubes from a phonograph inside an oak cabinet. From here, the machinery evolved in 1906 to a hand-cracking mechanism that could play up to 10 discs and 24 songs. The advanced amplification and jukebox playlists remained the standard for two decades before the roaring 20s hit and prohibition increased rowdy gatherings.
Automatic Music Instrument Corporation introduced the first automatic machine in 1927, with sales immediately soaring as people flocked to speakeasies for drinks and good tunes. By 1937, the official term “jukebox” finally came around, from the slang term “jook” or “juke” for the wild and disorderly crowds.
Jukeboxes reached their golden age by the 1940s and 1950s as manufacturers like Seeburg and Wurlitzer began designing the machines with more elaborate, eye-catching designs. Rather than just focusing on the music, the advanced models featured flashing lights, neon colors, glass elements, and striking wood inlays that made people want to gather and enjoy the music.
When World War II hit, manufacturers had to step back from jukebox evolution as the country focused more resources on war efforts. Because of this break, jukeboxes saw another incredible rise in popularity after the war in 1946 with the release of the iconic Bubbler model, featuring flowing tubes and an arched top. Today, a pristine 1946 Wurlitzer 1015 can sell for $10,000 or more.
Over the next few decades, jukeboxes continued evolving, offering larger playlist capabilities, new designs, and modern songs. From mesmerizing light projections to countertop jukeboxes, manufacturers have perfected the music-box craft.
Vintage Jukeboxes Help Us Keep the Rhythm Alive
At Rockabilly Auction Company, we’re passionate about keeping musical artifacts alive. If you have a vintage, rare, or unique jukebox that you’re ready to part with, we’d love to help preserve it. You can visit our gallery or contact us today at (770) 652-8075 to schedule a consignment appointment.
Are You Interested in Timeless Tunes? Join Our Jukebox Auction
Do you want to own a piece of musical history? If so, we have rare and vintage jukeboxes for you. Explore our upcoming quarterly auctions, visit our gallery in Hartwell, Georgia, or contact our team at Rockabilly Auction Company today at (770) 652-8075 to learn more about our selection and auction process.