Thursday, November 23, 2006

jukebox of democracy

This is the 117th birthday of the jukebox: on Nov. 23, 1889, the first jukebox appeared at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It consisted of an Edison Class M Electric Phonograph inside a freestanding oak cabinet to which were attached four stethoscope-like tubes. Each tube could be activated by depositing a coin so that four people could listen to a single recording at one time.

Eventually jukeboxes changed the music business. Many early radio programs refused to play country, blues, or jazz, so it was jukeboxes that made all that music available in taverns, restaurants, diners, and army bases.

Via The Writer's Almanac.


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