1950-1952 Chicago Coin Band-Box
Description: Band Box, Chicago Coin, 1950 to 1952, deposit a coin and
the curtains open and the animated manikin musicians play a tune by the
"world's smallest band", aka "Strike up the band".
The Chicago Coin bandbox usually accompanied a jukebox and could work
in unison with it.
It was advertised as "A Speaker That Looks Like An Orchestra - The
World's Smallest Band." Chicago Coin's Bandbox adverstising read:
"A speaker for any juke box or hideaway* that makes any location
a standout. Whole families travel miles to hear and see it play.
Lifelike motion of musicians playing their instruments and swaying
to the music intrigues the public. (Puts more money in your juke
box -- increases bar business.)"
Basically an extension speaker for a juke box, the Chicago Coin Bandbox is a small stage
with a curved front. Two and a half feet high and four feet wide, by
two feet deep and weighs about eighty pounds. The attached jukebox closes a switch
which causes the bandbox's lights to go on and the curtains to draw back revealing
a dance band of seven players with their instruments. They move as if
playing until the end of the music.
The figures were made of sponge rubber and decay over the years.
There is some question about the number of figures in the band box. The stage has
a miniature dummy microphone and some restorations have a 'singer'.
But most collectors agree the singer was not part of
the original design (and the flyer does not have a singer).
If you have a
for sale please let me know at
Note the singer on the left of this bandbox.
Picture by antiqueretriever:
Pictures by Mike1635: