This offsite studio with a bank of turntables and a record library was known locally as Manitowoc Wired Music Studio. This technology, available in 1939, began in Manitowoc in the early 1940’s. The jukebox manufacturer AMI produced this equipment and called it Automatic Hostess. It operated much like a present day internet jukebox. The units that were placed in the local taverns (see Orville’s Bar – interior shot) looked like a regular jukebox, but had no phonograph mechanism. The patron at the tavern would deposit a coin, then speak into a microphone which connected them to one of the operators at the studio, who would then locate the record, and play the request. It was a technology ahead of its time and only lasted until the mid-50’s. That’s my mom in the center wearing the plaid dress.
Manitowoc Wired Music Studio – 1948. 115A N. 10th St.
Manitowoc Wired Music Studio, 115A N. 10th St. – 1950. This photo was taken looking west down York St. The Harris Radio sign identifies the building and was a retail radio shop located on the ground floor. The Hostess studio was on the second floor overlooking N. 10th St.
Manitowoc Wired Music Studio – 1126A Washington St., circa 1943. This photo shows the first location with a much smaller room.
Manitowoc Wired Music Studio – 1126 A Washington St, circa 1943. This photo offers a good view of the switchboard from which the operator could talk with the taverns that were connected to the service.
Automatic Hostess – circa 1940’s. This is one of the units that would have been placed in a tavern. Photo courtesy of Lloyd T. @ coinopwarehouse.com
Automatic Hostess – circa 1940’s. This is a detail of the machine’s song list. Photo courtesy of Lloyd T. @ coinopwarehouse.com
Automatic Hostess Microphone – circa 1940’s. This is what the patron at the tavern would talk into when speaking with the operator at the studio. Photo courtesy of Lloyd T. @ coinopwarehouse.com