Mechanical Music Through the Ages

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

Seeburg “Trashcan” 1946 – (USA)

J.P.Seeburg left Sweden in 1886 to emigrate to America, being inclined towards the pursuit of engineering. He took jobs with American piano manufacturers. In 1907 he established the J.P.Seeburg Piano Company and set out to produce automatic musical instruments. The entry into jukeboxes was an understandable extension of his passion toward coin operated music makers, where significant fortunes could be made from relieving the general public of the coins in their pockets! The period during the second world war saw the manufacturers limit new models and technologies in order to provide resources towards the war effort. When the restrictions were lifted, the race was on and Seeburg was first out with the P146 – similar to the P148 below. It kept the reliable Freborg 20 78 rpm record sliding tray mechanism, it was low cost, reliable and unusual to look at. The problem was that it was not a popular model with users as they could not see the record changing mechanism in operation, which Wurlitzer, Rock-Ola and AMI capitalised upon. The “Trashcan” models were not successful in terms of sales, but this makes them an attractive investment option today. Coupled with their big valve amplifier and huge cone speaker, with excellent treble and base adjustment and you had a fine sounding jukebox.


Front view of the Seeburg “Trashcan” style jukebox.