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Article 3


The 1958 Wurlitzer


Gino M. - Sassari (Italy)


Hi, my name’s Gino and I’m a jukebox. I’ve always been one, but I only found out recently. It’s humiliating to see people coming up to me, touching me, pressing my buttons and choosing a song. Thanks to my highly reliable mechanisms, I play them all, never fail, even if I am an old model. Actually, I am a glorious 1958 Wurlitzer, frankly, the best. The strange thing is that the songs are always the same. Here are some of the titles:

“I Hope you Like me” – “Afraid to Love” – “Don’t Tell me I was Wrong” – “The Truth Hurts” – “I’ll See to it Tomorrow” – “Hidden behind a Finger” – “Cold Heart” - “You Frighten Me” – “What a Disgrace” – “Do you Think I’m Good?”, etc…

And what’s more, people don’t put money in my slot, no indeed, every time they select a song, I spit out a coin. So I don’t earn anything, I actually lose out. I’m fed up!

I’d like to change… I’m not saying I want to be human… I don’t really even know what it means, but, seeing that I’m a mechanical instrument, I could evolve, to start with, into something halfway… I don’t know… say a little free radio station. With a director to organise the programmes, a lot of speakers, some secretaries. We are conditioned by some things for survival, like advertising, but the songs are all chosen by the people working on the radio. Of course, if someone calls, we can try and play their requests, but the bottom line is that the deejays call the shots.

My problem is that I need to scrap the old juke-box and then gradually build up the new free broadcaster.

Help me!

Sincerely and with affection,




Voxon – model repairs and examination


Dear Client,

we have received your apparatus and have tried to establish whether it can be repaired.

Unfortunately, as you pointed out, the problem is quite serious, and our technician is trying to find suitable solutions in order to salvage the salvageable. But I do not have good news for you! Unfortunately many parts of your 1958 Wurlitzer need to be completely replaced, but, since they are no longer produced, they would need to be rebuilt from scratch. None of our technical staff are prepared to carry out such a long and exacting job to repair A SINGLE RADIO.

There is no solution.

We really feel that you will have to throw away your old model, or keep it in a glass case and look at it from time to time to remember the old days. You’ll have to learn to live with the faults and, who knows, maybe in time you’ll even find them amusing… or… actually there could be one answer, but I think only a madman could do it! Okay, here goes... If you really want your 1958 Wurlitzer to be repaired, you’ll have to train as a juke-box repair man yourself.


You’ll have to start with the little things, patiently study the transistors, and the way the whole mechanism works together through the electrical system. You’ll need to take a careful look at the fine-toothed cogs that seize up and learn to strip them down one by one, patiently oil them and reassemble them, which means that you’ll have to find someone to file the cogs so that you can watch them! And I can assure you that this in itself is an exhausting task. You’ll have to do all this hundreds of times, because only periodical checks will tell you whether or not something has been done properly.


You may also have to battle against damp, since the fine copper cogs will not work in conditions of high humidity. Then you’ll have to learn to understand which are the right days to work on the electrics and which are the wrong ones. In those free moments, you could see to things like cleaning the records or getting rid of condensation.


Then you’ll have to completely remove the electrical charge, as well as the oversized electrostatic energy storage cell, which is the true cause of the leakage you were so worried about.

The storage cell needs to be switched off, and if that’s not possible, you need to drain it completely using sophisticated, heavy and difficult equipment.

Study the manual on “Accumulation distenders and dispersion shocks”. Naturally, since the voltage is high enough to be dangerous, we advise you to approach such machines with caution, and only after sufficient theoretic and observational preparation regarding how they work and how they are used.


You will then need to make special overalls to prevent injury from the electric shocks required to drain the storage cell; this is very important.

With this in mind, perhaps the right place to start is by learning to sew a really good insulating suit onto yourself.

Start from there… sewing. Because you won’t find the kind you need in the shops, there aren’t any on the market, and nobody does this type of work any more; even someone who could do it wouldn’t sell it to you for all the gold in the world.


Perhaps it seems ridiculous that in order to repair your jukebox you have to start from something so far-removed, but now you can understand why you’ll have to do it yourself.


If you need materials, manuals, practical and technical advice, the right learning methods, first principles, examples of static electricity elimination… of course we are willing to help, if you have enough patience, but only after you’ve learned the methodology… don’t repeatedly ask us the same things, because even the most patient technician might not put up with a continuously distracted listener. So try to use our visits at the most useful times for your work, without wasting anyone’s time.


As far as the “Free Radio” project is concerned, it should be postponed until after the work we’ve described to you.


I must admit that I also had a model like yours, although a little bit more recent, some fifteen years ago. Now it works incredibly well compared with before… my work is not yet entirely finished, although it will be soon… but I find it all so exciting now…


With friendly regards,

Department of Communications and Client Relations

Voxon Technology and Software




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