Mechanical Music Through the Ages

A collection of Mechanical Music and Arcade Machines – highlighting examples of the development in mechanical entertainment over time.

Regina Hexaphone Model 103 1913 – (USA)

The Regina Hexaphone  was the very first successful fully automatic coin operated jukebox. It played six wax cylinder records in a rotating selector instead of flat discs. You chose your selection from the selection card at the front of the machine, inserted your nickel, rotated the selector  to the corresponding cylinder number  and then wound the clockwork motor, which when fully wound, took the nickel and started the cylinder automatically. 
Some people preferred the Edison and Columbia machines which had hearing tubes/buds which you inserted in your ears and could listen to by yourself, without sharing your nickel’s worth of music with others.
The Regina Company, established in 1889, originally made music boxes (among them, coin operated jukebox prototypes), but competition from the phonograph forced them to expand into coin operated cylinder phonograph players and a little later into vacuum cleaners.