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TECHDAY 23 November Music from a Box

On this TECHDAY in history, in 1889, the first jukebox was installed in San Francisco, at the Palais Royale Saloon. It quickly proved extremely successful, and this invention eventually spread all around the world. This machine was called “nickel in the slot” and it was developed by Louis Glass, who installed it alongside his business partner William S. Arnold. It was a coin-operated machine, based on an Edison Class M Electric phonograph, that was placed inside an oak casing, and, since it had no sound amplification, it had four “listening tubes” attached to it. Each of these was activated with the insertion of a coin, making it possible for up to four different people to listen to the same song at the same time. The machine came to be known as jukebox only later, and the origin of this word is still somewhat debatable.

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