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Seeburg Corporation: Wikis

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Seeburg “Trashcan” Jukebox (1948, Symphonola Model 148)

Seeburg was an American company known for the design and manufacture of vending equipment and jukeboxes.

The company manufactured jukeboxes under the JP Seeburg and Company name for most of its early years. Until 1956, the company was family owned. The company was founded by Justus Sjöberg from Gothenburg, Sweden. He moved to USA after graduating from Chalmers and used an Americanized spelling of his name for the company. In the late 1940s, Seeburg manufactured its popular and distinctive "trashcan-shaped" series of jukeboxes.

Seeburg Selecto-o-matic jukebox It handles up to 50 records (1949)

When they first began to make jukeboxes the 78 rpm was the record of choice and only a few selections could be played on one jukebox. This changed with the Seeburg model M100A which could play 50 records front and back for a total of 100 selections, an unheard of variety at the time. In 1950, Seeburg came out with the first commercial jukebox designed to play the (then) new 45rpm records. They later increased the number of records from 50 to 80 and 100 per machine. The classic M100C is featured while the opening theme song is playing on the "Happy Days" comedy television series about the 1950s.

Seeburg also manufactured background music players, such as the Seeburg 1000, which used special 9-inch, 16⅔ rpm records.

In the 1960s Seeburg bought many other companies, including Williams (pinball and other games). In 1979, the Seeburg Corp, was split into two companies, with the "Seeburg Phonograph Division" spun off. This did not survive, as the court closed it in Sept. 1979. Stern Electronics purchased the all of Seeburg production stock on hand and began producing "Stern/Seeburg" jukeboxes. This only lasted a few years, as Stern/Seeburg also was forced to close. The parts department stock was purchased by Los Angeles-based Jukeboxes Unlimited in September 1980.

A few other attempts were made to use the Seeburg name, all failed. A last ditch effort was made to save the company in the late 80's. This effort was called "The Seeburg Phonograph Company" and was made up of some of the "original" Seeburg employees. It was the first company to produce a CD phonograph. It remained in operation for a few years, and several CD jukeboxes were made at that time. Eventually, what was left of the company closed up shop and now nothing remains.

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