On each annual "Wurlitzer National Day" the latest model was introduced to the operators and in 1955, Wurlitzer’s 1800 superseded the previous year’s 1700. It was one of their first models to play 45rpm disks. Despite featuring the same mechanism as its predecessor, the 1800 had a markedly different cabinet with a speaker grille spanning the full width of the machine.
Overall it had a slightly more understated feel than the outgoing model, not least because the mirror tiles, which formed the backdrop to the carousel on the 1700, were replaced by red panels and radiating chrome strips on the new model. The pilasters were more subtle too, being less colourful, less wide, and relocated inset rather than flanking the grille.
It has a capacity of 52 records (104 selections) and offers a terrific sound thanks to a powerful valve amplifier and two 12” speakers. These machines also featured Wurlitzer’s patented ‘Cobra’ pick up system, about which our jukebox engineers wax lyrical. First introduced in 1948, the Cobra system set new standards in audio quality.
Most jukeboxes of this vintage bring a lovely warm quality to the music they play and really have to be heard to be fully appreciated. This stunning example has been extensively refurbished in our own workshops and is now available for purchase.
Rudolph Wurlitzer was born into a family of musical instrument makers in Germany in 1829 before emigrating to America at the tender age of 24. He began by importing his family’s instruments and selling them in the US market but quite quickly set up a manufacturing business and in 1880 the first Wurlitzer piano was built in the US. Electric pianos came next, shortly followed by the cinema and theatre organs, dubbed ‘Mighty Wurlitzers’, that provided such a stirring accompaniment to the silent movies of the time.
In 1933 the New York based company bought the rights to a patented jukebox mechanism and under the management of Farny Wurlitzer, Rudolph’s successor, they began designing and manufacturing their first jukebox, the ‘Debutante’. Known as the ‘small man’s concert hall’, it enjoyed tremendous popularity and paved the way for even greater success when Wurlitzer’s inspired designer, Paul Fuller, came up with the 'Bubbler' design that we all know and recognise today.
Allow us to explain how and why we go to such extreme lengths when repairing and restoring vintage games.
Over the years we are fortunate enough to have gathered together a select few individuals whose enthusiasm for jukeboxes, pinball machines and vintage arcade games ensures that they are never less than 100% committed to the task in hand. They quite simply love breathing new life into old circuitry and want to see as many of these classic pieces preserved for future generations as possible.
Not for them the perfunctory checklists and proverbial ‘tyre kicking’ which pass for an inspection at other dealers but instead an unflinching determination to get to grips with the detail. This usually begins with a thorough strip down of the machine and a forensic examination of the internal workings. They’ll be aware of the particular quirks and foibles of any given piece and instead of just replacing failed parts they’ll always go the extra mile, swapping out components which are likely to fail in the near future.
An obvious comparison would be between a classic car which remains on show in a garage and one that you can actually enjoy driving.
Rare though many of these machines are, rarer still are the examples which have been properly restored or can truthfully be said to be in full working order. It goes without saying that when unrestored machines come up for sale online or at auction, they’ll often be priced rather lower than the machines sold by The Games Room Company, and the point we wish to get across above all others is that there’s a reason for this.
In this business The Games Room Company’s reputation is second to none, and as it’s been hard won over the years it’s something we never take for granted. Every machine that goes off to a customer, be they corporate or private, is a potential advertisement for the business and if we didn’t do our job properly then we wouldn’t have the high number of loyal, returning customers that we do.
We’re justly proud of our One Year Parts and Labour Warranty, which extends to on-site visits so if your machine does require some attention, you won’t necessarily have to endure the pain of separation.
We’ve always recognised that with specialised products such as these the after sales service is just as important as the initial sale. It takes a long time to build a reputation and over the years our commitment has won us not just the loyalty of our clients but also the trust of the last remaining American Jukebox manufacturer, Rockola, who in 2014 appointed us as their Exclusive British dealer.
Music itself is an important part of our business, as reflected by our treasured vinyl library, so we are able to help you source and create the perfect playlist. We also make all of the title cards in original typewriter font – so if you’re a bit stuck for choice, we are only too happy to help!
Music and Title Cards Pricing
The charge for vintage records is £15 + VAT per record, this covers most records however some are highly collectable for which we have to pay a premium and are charge at a higher price. The title card service is £120 + VAT for a handmade set regardless of the selection quantity.
It is quite an involved process supply records as we buy them in from dealers or collectors, they will only guarantee the "A" side, so often many records do not pass with us because we always supply records with playable "B" sides as well as the "A".
The centres are then cut (big hole centres) which also leads to some breakage as some of the records split due to their age. Finally they are hand washed and then played both "A" and "B" side on a gramophone for sound quality, only then are they fit to go on the Jukebox. The final check is again playing "A" and "B" side as you would hear it on your Jukebox.
It's all about delivering good quality sound for our clients and if you are investing in a vinyl jukebox the standard of the records have to demonstrate the high standard of our restorations.
Please contact us if you are interested in this service.
- Dimensions: (H) 140 x (W) 83cm x (D) 69cm
- Imperial: (H) 55" x (W) 33" x (D) 27"
- Made in the USA in 1955
- Vinyl Capacity: 52 45 rpm records (104 selections)
- Highly sought after and still rising in value
- Equipped with genuine 'Cobra' radionic tone arm by only by Zenith Radio Corporation, Chicago
- Can also be fitted with a Bluetooth receiver which opens up a whole world of music without detracting from the machine's integrity
- Record and title card service available