Wurlitzer 850 is a vintage jukebox manufactured by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company and designed by Paul Fuller in 1941. It is sometimes referred to as the Wurlitzer Peacock. The 850 was the first jukebox to ever use an electric selector instead of a mechanical one. When a coin is inserted, two “make selection” lights come on. When the buttons are pushed, the selection light goes out and doesn’t come on again until the record has been played. When the light comes on again, the record can be played. This mechanism means that the user cannot accidentally play a song that has already been selected.
The 850 is also the very first application for Polaroid film. Behind the stained glass door, a polarising unit rotates 2 discs of film. Behind the door are light bulbs which shine directly onto the stained glass peacocks. This gives the impression that the peacocks are changing hues before the user’s eyes.
A Wurlitzer 850 was sold by Victorian Casino Antiques n October 2010 for $15,000.
On June 11 2005, a Wurlitzer 850 was sold by Great Gatsby’s Antiques and Auctions in Atlanta, GA for $13,500.
Christie’s sold an 850 on 27 June 2001 at an auction in Los Angeles. The jukebox sold for $15,275.
Wurlitzer have also bought out a CD version of the 850. It has an almost identical aesthetic design including the wooden cabinet, side column illuminations and 2 speed colour rotation in the famous peacock image.
The CD Wurlitzer 850 can be coin operated or controlled via a remote control. The CD changer has a capacity of 100 CDs and can play up to 1200 songs.
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