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Wurlitzer Jukeboxes

Wurlitzer 1400

When I first got into jukeboxes and both my wife and I eventually obtained our dream jukeboxes (Seeburg 100C and Rockola 1422), I promised both my son and daughter each a jukebox for their 18th birthday. At the time, this deadline was 8 to 10 years away.

Over the years, their taste in music and machines have changed. As my son's music focus became more and more modern, there wouldn't be enough music available for him to stock a jukebox and he decided on something else for his birthday present.

At the time, my daughter looked through various jukebox books and kept coming back to the Wurlitzer 1400. I kept my eyes out for such a model and over the years have found and bought several machines. But everytime I had one in stock, someone would express interest in purchasing it and I would restore it for them. Of course, there was still several years before one would be needed for my daughter's 18th birthday.

As expected, as her music tastes have changed as she has been progressing through her teenage years and has realized that a 45rpm machine holding more records than a 1400 would be better. Her current choice is a Seeburg 100C.


The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company

Ruldoph Wurlitzer went to the United States in 1853 and started a business selling instruments, as his family had been doing in Saxony for a couple of centuries. After a few years, he started to manufacture pianos and eventually attached a coin slot. By the time Rudolph died in 1914, the company had a large factory in North Tonawanda NY. The building still exists, housing Wurco, a company that sells old and new jukeboxes (including Rockolas) as well as other coin-operated machines and related merchanise.

In 1914, Rudolph's 3 sons inherited the business which almost went bankrupt in the Great Depression. A deal with Homer Capehart to manufacture a coin phonograph helped to save the company. The jukebox world was dominated by Wurlitzer, with the Golden Age jukeboxes designed by Paul Fuller. This changed when Seeburg revolutionized the world by introducing the 100 select mechanism and became the dominate company. Wurlitzer tried to compete but operators found the Wurlitzer new mechanisms, like the WurlyMagic Brain used in the 1500, too complex and unreliable. The company finally went out of business in the 1970s, with a Germany company purchasing the name and continues to operate as Deutsche Wurlitzer GmbH . That company started manufacturing bubbler CD jukeboxes called "One More Time". The cabinets are replicas of various Wurlitzer models from the Golden Age of jukeboxes.

Notable Models