Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Mighty Wurlitzer Model 800 Jukebox May Play Again

 
This Wurlitzer jukebox, model 800 was sold today at an estate sale in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for $3,500. It was made in the 1940s and plays 78 rpm records (one side only).

 

In Cedar Rapids the Killian's Department store (no longer here) bought this player new for its soda shop in the 1940s. The jukebox was later donated to a seniors center and remained there until 1960 when it was returned to the Killian's family. The present owner bought the Wurlitzer from the family in 1969. The colorful player has sat in the same finished basement location since the first moon landing.


Silver colored holders flip out to the right with a single 78 rpm record as the turntable rises up from the base to play.

 
This unit's green back wall is missing and should be replaced. Some of the green foil-like backing is still in place. Handwritten song titles are located on the foreground slots. One song name that stands out is the Two O'Clock Jump. 
 

The coin box was removed and a push button was installed to let seniors play the music without placing a coin in the slot. Although two glass shades are missing from the corner columns which rotate inside the yellow-orange casing to give the illusion of a flame, the sealed center tubes heat up as designed to produce air bubbles that gurgle up the run of the tube. In all, the plastic is in fantastic shape, the unit lights up marvelously and hopefully, the sound system can be repaired to once again blare out music from decades past. See a photo of a restored player here.