1946 Seeburg 146

This 1946 Seeburg 146 was a complete restoration from the ground up, inside and out.  We rebuilt the mechanical systems and the amplifier.  We refurbished the cabinet and gave it a new dome and new plastics.  For something that is called a “Trashcan”, it’s the nicest trashcan we’ve ever seen.


Explore the Project Galleries



Starting with coin meters for washing machines and games, such as gold digger and pinball, the J. P. Seeburg Company moved into the coin-operated vendor market. Developing cigarette vending machines, cold and hot drinks dispensers and the like kept the company in good running with their creditors and it bounced back in 1934 when they paid off most of their debts and developed a new automatic phonograph. This new machine utilised a new mechanism designed by Wilcox, which stacked the records with a two inch gap between each disc for the tone arm to move into. Unfortunately, due to error at the manufacturers the steel spindle for holding the records had not been pre-stressed and so frequently warped jamming the machine. By this time the 60 year old Justus handed the reins of the company to his son Noel Marshall Seeburg, although the creator of the company remained an active part of developments until his death in 1958, aged 87.

N. Marshall Seeburg had been brought up around the electrical innovations of his generation and the company received a much-needed shot in the arm. Seeburg proceeded to produce successful models of jukebox, including the ‘Gem’, the ‘Crown’, ‘Plaza’, ‘Casino’, ‘Regal’, and ‘Classic’. The new director in turn brought in new talent: M. W. Kenney, an engineer, Nils Miller, an industrial designer and Henry Roberts, sales manager. Furthermore, in the mid-1930s, Meyer Parkoff who was a Wurlitzer distributor in New York moved over to Seeburg.

At the 1938 Jukebox Convention in Chicago Seeburg unveiled their new machine – the ‘Symphonola’. Miller had been experimenting in translucent plastics for the casing and had come up with the first light-up jukebox. The plastic panels had low wattage bulbs behind them, lighting them up and making the phonograph “glow”. This design approach was such an instant success that many of the other companies at the convention returned to their new machines and changed the casing. This has led to many of the most popular design of jukebox, including machines such as the Wurlitzer 1015 which is probably now the most recognised jukebox.

The Seeburg models from the 1940’s, like this one, were referred to as “Trashcan” jukeboxes and later on as R2-D2 jukeboxes.

Read more about Seeburg at: http://www.seeburg.co.uk/