Welcome to my Wurlitzer jukebox group! I am in the process of
restoring a 1951 model 1400, and have learned a lot about this
jukebox! I have ben collecting and restoring jukeboxes for over ten
years, but this is my first Wurlitzer.
The Model 1400, as well as the 1250, 1450, and 1650, all use what
Wurlitzer called their "new revolutionary 48-selection mechanism".
In 1949, Seeburg dropped a bomb on the entire coin-operated
phonograph industry with the introduction of their 100-
selection "select-O-Matic". Everyone else was still using their pre-
war mechanisms with 20 to 24 selections.
Wurlitzer's 48-select mechanism was a stop-gap measure to enable the
company to keep their heads above water until they could design a
more-competive machine. They took their 24-select mechanism which
they had been using for many years, added some extra cams and levers
to enable it to play both sides of the record, and made do until they
introduced their "carousel" mechanism in 1955, a truly new design
which was not only reliable and fascinating to watch, but served them
well for the next 15 years or so.
Also, the styling of these Wurlitzer "interim models" was sort of
vague too. Not really new, not really old. Also going on around
this time was the "war of the speeds". By 1951, Seeburg had
themselves entirely to the new 45 rpm format, while Wurlitzer and the
others simply offered "kits" to adapt their current mechanisms to
play the new 45 records.
These Wurlitzer "interim models" are sort of lost in time. They
really don't have much of a collector fan base, although there is
nothing really wrong with them. Just misunderstood. Although the
fifties belonged to Seeburg, I have a special place in my heart for
these Wurlitzer "in-between" models.