Friday, November 23, 2012
On November 23, 1889, the first jukebox was installed at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco by entrepreneur Louis Glass. The “nickel-in-the-slot player” consisted of four stethoscope-like tubes connected to an Edison Class M electric phonograph placed inside an oak cabinet. Each tube was activated by an inserted nickel (equivalent to $1.08 today), so that four listeners could hear the same song simultaneously. Patrons received towels to wipe off the end of the tube after each listening. Exhibitors often arrayed machines in "phonograph parlors" where patrons could choose between various records. The term "jukebox" came into use around 1940, perhaps derived from the term "juke joint," from the Gullah (Lowcountry) word "juke" or "joog" meaning disorderly, rowdy or wicked. Pictured: Seeburg M100C Jukebox (1952).