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Company History

AMI began in 1909 as the National Automatic Music Co, making automatic player pianos. Having designed a mechanism which allowed music rolls to be selected, this was adapted for use in jukeboxes, the first of which was produced in 1927. The mechanism used was the first that could play both sides of 10 records, allowing 20 selections. Aside from modifications to extend the number of selections, this mechanism was used for the next 30 years. The company was renamed to the Automatic Musical Instrument Company (AMI) after World War 2. During the 1950s Licensed manufacturing agreements created BAL-AMI (England), IMA-AMI - Jensen (Denmark) and EDEN-AMI (France). The Automatic Canteen Company bought AMI in 1962, merging it with its subsidiary ROWE AC Services, a manufacturer of coin operated vending machines. Rowe International is still manufacturing jukeboxes today.

Notable Jukeboxes

The 'Top Flight' manufactured in 1936 and '37 is a classic example of Art Deco styling. Its sleek, modern lines are supplemented by gaudy embellishments. This jukebox used the original mechanism, allowing a selection of 20 78rpm's. Perhaps the most unusual looking jukebox ever made is the 'Singing Towers' produced between 1939 and 1942. The design of moulded glass, stone effect finish and a top light was influenced by New York skyscrapers. The 'Singing Towers' included a new mechanism which changed the colours of the lights as music played. Unfortunately this design was never a commercial success due to mechanical problems. In 1946 the Model A, more affectionately known as 'The Mother of Plastic' was launched. This large, brightly colourful jukebox, was decorated with opalescent plastics and coloured glass gemstones. The Model A was a great success in the growing post-war jukebox market. 1957 saw the launch of the Model H, this featured a new selection mechanism, and used 'automobile styling' with wrap around clear glass and chrome front bumpers. The 'Continental' models of 1961 and 1962 featured flamboyant 'sci-fi' influenced design, with domed glass tops and curved selection holders.
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