J.P. Seeburg

QUESTION:  The Seeburg Symphonola Model 148 Jukebox was more popularly called what?
A)  The Bubblemaker
B)  Timmy
C)  The Trashcan
D)  The Dancer

The American Treasure Tour is a wonderful place. Not only is there plenty to see and hear here, but our collective culture dominates everywhere you look. Some of the names that appear are still familiar today, even though the pioneers connected to them lived a long time ago. Today and tomorrow, the blog would like to honor a man whose creations changed how people listened to music throughout the twentieth century.  

Justus P. Seeburg was born in Gotthenburg, Sweden in 1871 and attended a manual training school there, which was located next to the Malinjos piano factory.  He developed a love for the piano and, when he emigrated to the United States in 1887, he settled in Chicago, where he pursued a career in piano construction. Within ten years, he moved to the Marquette Piano Company, makers of the "Cremona" pneumatic coin pianos better known as nickelodeons.  This is where Seeburg learned how to make these machines, which inspired him to establish the J.P. Seeburg Piano Company.  Between 1910 and 1920, the coin piano industry boomed, and Seeburg was riding the wave - moving to larger and larger facilities during the decade.  His great success can be accredited to a few reasons:  his machines were excellently constructed, they were durable, and they were beautiful. He reduced the price for manufacturing them by using standardized parts between the machines, which made repairing them easier, too.  Most significantly, though, he provided incentives to piano dealers to sell his machines. While other companies refused non-licensed store owners the right to sell their machines, Seeburg not only allowed anyone to sell them, but he was much more generous in sharing the profits with them. By the 1920's, Seeburg dominated the market and, in fact, designed what would become the best-selling nickelodeon of all time, the Seeburg L, or "Liliputian."  The small upright machine was a perfect compliment to tight quarters, such as speakeasies during Prohibition.  Stay tuned for more exciting information on Seeburg!

ANSWER:  C)  The Trashcan