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AMI Jukeboxes

AMI Continental

When I had first got into restoring jukeboxes, I promised both my son and daughter a jukebox for their 18th birthday. My son's first choice was an AMI Continental. However, as he progressed through his teenage years, his music tastes changed and very little was available on 45rpm, and certainly not on 78rpm, there was no sense in doing a antique jukebox. Which was somewhat fortunate, as I had never come across a Continental in an unrestored state that I could afford.

In late 2005, I received a phone call from someone who had been given by name by a repeat customer. Lo and behold, the jukebox to be repaired and restored was an AMI Continental. I finally had the opportunity to work on a Continental.


The Automatic Musical Instruments Inc.

In 1927, The Automatic Musical Instrument company, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, created the world's first electrically amplifed multi-selection phonograph. Jukeboxes could now compete with large orchestras - for only a nickel.

AMI Inc. was one of the four big jukebox companies during the 1930's. The company continued to manufacture various model of jukeboxes during the Silver Age of jukeboxes. Like Wurlitzer and Rockola companies, AMI faced stronger competition in the late 1940s when Seeburg introduced the 100 selection mechanism. AMI increased its selections to 120 on its 45rpm models E, F and G.

In 1956, the company introduced a carousel mechanism offering 200 selections on the G. Melvin H. Boldt filed the design patent for this mechanism in September 1955. The line was continued through to 1960 with the H, I, Jubilee and K.

Around 1961, the President of AMI, John W. Haddock, retired and the Automatic Canteen Company of America took over cover with Jack R. Mell as its new designer. The company name was eventually changed to Rowe-AMI. Mell filed patents for the Continental and Lyric in August 1960 and granted in 1962. Melvin Boldt continued to be involved with the company and was responsible for many of the Rowe cabinets from the 1960s through to the 1980s.

Notable Models