AMI stands for Automatic Musical Instruments. It was acquired by ROWE in 1962 and, thereafter, was referred to as ROWE-AMI. The book reveals that the AMI jukebox evolved from the Nation Coin Operated Nickelodeon that had eight separate five cent slots so that patrons could select any one of the eight piano rolls available. To keep the customer interested, AMI operators changed the rolls weekly. AMI produced its first automatic phonograph in 1927.
AMI was first in producing an automatic phonograph that played twenty selections by playing both sides of ten records. By way of comparison, the first jukebox that Wurlitzer produced was the "Debutante" in 1933 which played only 10 selections. The first Rock-Ola coin operated phonograph (jukebox) did not appear until January of 1935 and it played only 12 selections.
One of the AMI's most distinctive jukeboxes was the Singing Towers, produced in the early 1940s. This jukebox, shown on this page, was created by stacking two 20 selection mechanisms one on top of the other. Here again, AMI lead the field by offering 40 selections (playing both sides of 20 records). In contrast, the 1946-7 Wurlitzer models still played one side of only 24 records. Seeburg and Rock-Ola models played only one side of 20 records.
Frank Adams, the author of an AMI Identification and Reference Guide, provides an interesting observation of how valuable the AMI jukebox was. In 1956, the value of a used AMI jukebox was three times higher than the value of a 1946 Seeburg or Rock-Ola; and two times higher than a 1946 Wurlitzer. As Frank says "How times change."
For information on repair options, records for your jukebox, parts, jukebox values, etc. go to Jukebox Resource Center
For a list of jukebox service manuals & schematics, go to Jukebox Service Manuals web page
For a list of jukeboxes for sale, go to Jukebox Sales Lists
Copyright: 2009 Ken Durham, GameRoomAntiques
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