1946 Wurlitzer Jukebox 1015

This 1946 Wurlitzer jukebox had been previously restored, but not well.  The outside features were fine, but the mechanical aspects were a mess.  We straightened everything out and now it plays music like the best of them.


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The Wurlitzer family began establishing its reputation for making and selling fine musical instruments during the 17th century. The father of the original Wurlitzer company, Rudolph Wurlitzer was born in Schilbach, Saxony in 1829. At age 24 he migrated to America, and three years later, in 1856, he founded The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Initially he imported musical instruments from his family in Germany to sell on the American market, but soon moved into
manufacturing. In 1880, the first Wurlitzer piano was built in the U.S., followed by the first coin-operated electric piano in 1896. This was just the beginning of what would prove to be a continuing success story, as the first Wurlitzer Jukebox was just a step away.

Wurlitzer has historically implemented a philosophy, still valid today, of channeling flexibility and advanced technology into the development of innovative products. Consequently, Farny Wurlitzer, successor of the founding father, bought a patented jukebox mechanism in 1933 and hired highly skilled professionals for design and marketing. From their new location in North Tonawanda, New York, these imaginative inventors developed the first Wurlitzer Jukebox, the Debutante. Over the next few years, Wurlitzer Jukeboxes became widely embraced by operators, and by the late 1930s, Wurlitzer was producing over 45,000 jukeboxes a year. The jukebox became known as the “small man’s concert hall.”

At the end of the war, in 1946, sales of the Wurlitzer 1015 Jukebox took off. People were mesmerized by the styling details, including animated bubble tubes, revolving color columns, and a revealed record-changing mechanism. This forerunner to today’s One More Time model sold over 56,000 units during its first 18 months on the market—going on to become the most successful jukebox of all time.

Read more about Wurlitzers at: http://wurlitzer.de/en/tradition/