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dougspeterson
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1940s "wired music" by telephone pre jukebox?

I recently saw all of the old '40s Crime Doctor flicks. One of them concerned a business called wire or wired music. Bars and restaurants had devices similar to jukeboxes but you ordered your music by phone, and the service had a central office with girl operators who loaded disks onto record players. Viola your musical selection was played back over big speakers at your venue via the phone line.

This is just sufficienly wacko that it has the ring of truth. However I can find no info on this business which would have been replaced by the on site disk loaded jukebox.

Or was this episode science fiction?

geoffkait
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dougspeterson wrote:
dougspeterson wrote:

I recently saw all of the old '40s Crime Doctor flicks. One of them concerned a business called wire or wired music. Bars and restaurants had devices similar to jukeboxes but you ordered your music by phone, and the service had a central office with girl operators who loaded disks onto record players. Viola your musical selection was played back over big speakers at your venue via the phone line.

This is just sufficienly wacko that it has the ring of truth. However I can find no info on this business which would have been replaced by the on site disk loaded jukebox.

Or was this episode science fiction?

Sounds possible to me. Of course it wouldn't exactly be HD sound due to the bandwidth limitations on phone (voice) lines. Not to mention the first Spread Spectrum communications system involved playing an LP record. That was the system invented by Hedy Lamarr, the glamorous actress, during WWII.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

commsysman
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WIRED MUSIC
dougspeterson wrote:

I recently saw all of the old '40s Crime Doctor flicks. One of them concerned a business called wire or wired music. Bars and restaurants had devices similar to jukeboxes but you ordered your music by phone, and the service had a central office with girl operators who loaded disks onto record players. Viola your musical selection was played back over big speakers at your venue via the phone line.

This is just sufficienly wacko that it has the ring of truth. However I can find no info on this business which would have been replaced by the on site disk loaded jukebox.

Or was this episode science fiction?

There was such a service in Manhattan. It only served a limited area of office buildings and other businesses. The bandwidth of the premium phone lines was better than a standard phone line (300-3000 Hz), but still not exactly "hi-fi", but for 78 records it was good enough.

jgossman
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There is truly nothing new under the sun.

If you ever think you are the first to try something, you are usually wrong. You may be first to get it right, but usually the first people to think stuff up are limited by the material or electronic technology of the day. The Hedy Lamar example was awesome because besides being a beauty queen, she was truly innovative and brilliant, and key to the war effort.

jgossman
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EDIT

Her invention wasn't used until after the War was over, because, more or less, the military didn't trust it. It's now the basis for most wireless digital transmissions.

geoffkait
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For a while I worked in the

For a while I worked in the Spread Spectrum dept. of Computer Sciences Corp. at which time there was a story about a submarine skipper during the war who disguised his voice messages using the background noise of lobster fish to bury the voice signal in noise. Of course the receiving location would have to have the ability to remove the mask of lobster fish sounds in order to retrieve the signal.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

dspedersen
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Wired Music Operators in San Francisco

I grew up in 1950s San Francisco and was the child of parents who worked for one of the premier Wired Music operators in San Francisco run by Jack Ehrlich named Pioneer Music Company. It was owned by Jack Ehrlich, brother of Jake Ehrlich, a criminal defense attorney nationally known for his proficiency in the courts of the United States. My father was an electrical engineer by training and was responsible for using the San Francisco (Pacific Telephone Exchanges) to transmit music into bars and restaurants throughout the Tenderloin, South of Market, Mission District, Nob Hill and parts of North Beach installing bar boxes used by customers to call operators at the operations hub on Eddy St where operators (my mother went by the name Mabel) to take your request via phone set and play your selection over the speakers of the bar or restaurant where your request was made. The cost was a nickel per request. This was a viable alternative to jukeboxes of the day that played as few as 50 selections total until the records were refreshed by the owners of the equipment. The wired music business died out as Seeburg, Rockola, Wurlitzer and AMI came out with 100 selection versions of their jukeboxes in the late 1950s. A benefit of this system for the operators was when the music stars of the day would come to the office and do photos with the operators to encourage them to promote and play their songs. Jack Ehrlich maintained a library of more that 20,000 selections in his library and had as many as 12 operators with turntables to play the selections.

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