Nickel Buys a Tune and a Phone Chat with a Girl as Well (Apr, 1941)

Nickel Buys a Tune and a Phone Chat with a Girl as Well

COIN PHONOGRAPHS, or “juke boxes,” widely used in taverns and restaurants, now are sometimes installed in a new form. Operated by telephone from central offices, they permit a selection of 300 or more tunes, as opposed to the 12 or 20 available on ordinary coin phonographs. Girl operators, chosen for their pleasing voices and ready wit, make wisecracks and occasionally sing with the records. When the customer places a nickel in the slot, a light flashes on the operator’s board at the central office. The customer, speaking through a microphone, then gives the number of the record he desires played, and the operator selects the disk from a rack and slips it on a phonograph turntable. Each operator cares for ten turntables, representing as many different “juke boxes.” By putting additional coins in the slot, a customer can have his selected tune dedicated to anyone in the room or in some other place with a similar machine.

2 comments
  1. blast says: August 12, 20117:25 pm

    The “upgrade” to dedicate a song to someone is clever. I’m not sure it would pull in enough money to pay for the central office labor and leased lines to each jukebox, though.

    Easy way to break up with someone who plays the field… just send them a message while they’re out with someone else. “I don’t stand a ghost of a chance with you….”

  2. Barry says: August 14, 201111:31 pm

    “I’m not sure it would pull in enough money to pay for the central office labor and leased lines to each jukebox, though.”

    Minimum wage in 1941, 30 cents per hour. Each “girl operator” caring for 10 turntables each, not much overhead due to labor costs.

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