The first pre-selective jukebox was the Multiphone, invented by John C. Dunton in 1905. Standing 7 feet high, it comprised a lyre-shaped, glass-fronted wooden cabinet containing an Edison spring-motor phonograph and a hand-cranked rotary-selector mechanism that gave the listener a choice of twenty-four cylinder recordings.
Coin operated amusement devices became popular in saloons by the turn of the century. For a nickel (though this machine has been altered for dime plays) the Edison Multiphone coin operated phonograph (1915) offered a choice of twenty-four cylinder recordings (visible through the glass panel). The cylinders were numbered and an accompanying chart listed the titles. By having patrons pay for their entertainment, saloon keepers saved money on hired musicians and other expenses.
Photographed in the Autry Museum of the American West, Located in Los Angeles, California.
Just this past weekend, Geoffrey and I were discussing (read: whining about) how rare it is these days that either one of us gets very excited about a new band, and how much time we spend loading our favorite classics onto our iPods. With most of the local record stores now closed (RIP Virgin Mega Store), it’s really challenging to find records from bands I loved growing up, but whose music I somehow neglected to buy when it was new. Thank god it’s really never too late to find all of your forgotten favorites, because I just discovered a cool online source for Oldies Music at a site called i-Oldies Music Store. i-Oldies Music Store has over 15 million songs to choose from in online archive of classics from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s! The site features a fun search interface that looks like an old time Jukebox and all you have to do is type in a favorite Band, Song or Album and the results come right up for you to browse through. You can even search by the year a song was released, which is cool if you’re ever putting together an oldies play list for a party. The store also sells new releases by classic artists such as Glen Campbell’s latest release, Ghost on the Canvas. I can already tell that i-Oldies Music Store is going to become favorite destination for me. Check it out and bookmark it when you get the chance!