Thursday, 22 December 2011


Today’s seasonal offering comes from the Wurlitzer Company, the only manufacturer of jukeboxes to advertise directly to the American public in mass-circulation magazines. Someone had the bright idea of employing the services of illustrator, Albert Dorne, the poet of the Frigidaire. Dorne transformed the jukebox into the high altar of the American Dream at the centre of a manic throng in advanced stages of rapture. Joy was unconfined yet all was clean and wholesome, although out in the real America, the jukebox was rapidly acquiring a darker reputation as an emblem of the emerging counter-culture in the form of the Beat Generation. The model featured here was the 1015 and by virtue of its styling excellence and ubiquity it would become the most fondly remembered of all jukeboxes. Robin Benson has posted a fine selection of Dorne’s Wurlitzer ads on his blog, Past Print. As for Johnny-one-note, he enjoyed a long life as the Wurlitzer brand character, promising musical excitement and sociability to the post-war pleasure-seeker.

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