Although much later than the other phonographs in the collection, this is a
classic of the "Golden Age" of jukeboxes. The most compact of the full-size
Wurlitzers, it features multicolored illuminated plastics and two curved bubble tubes
in the center grill to give it 'animation,' adding to the eye-appeal. Made in 1941,
it was the first Wurlitzer to feature the domed cathedral top that was to be the
standard for the rest of the decade. A choice of 24 selections was offered, with
the 78rpm records stacked in trays on the left side of the record compartment. The
selected record swings out while the turntable rises up from below to bring it up
to the level of the tonearm.
Two versions of the Wurlitzer 750 were made. The style pictured here used a mechanical selector. A patron would select the records he wanted to hear, then insert enough coins to play the selections. The problem was that any subsequent person could simply lift up the selection key to cancel it, and choose a different record, for which the first patron had already paid. This "selection theft" resulted in many confrontations. A total of 6,411 of these mechanical selector 750s were produced.
Wurlitzer then came up with a more modern version, called the 750E (for electric). This had an electric selector mechanism which required that the patron first insert a coin, then make their selections. These could not be overriden by others so it eliminated a pesky problem that had gone on for years. All new Wurlitzers thereafter used the electric selector. Almost twice as many electric selector 750s were made versus the mechanical version (about 12,000).
There was another benefit to the electric selector, at least for the operator: with the mechanical selector mechanism, a patron could see if his choice was already selected. With the electric selector, there was no way to know if a choice had already been made (and paid for), so it was common for two or more patrons to pay for the same song. Each was happy to hear it play, without knowing that it had already been paid for possibly many times over.
This shows the H.R. Maser Music Co. showroom in San Francisco in the 1940s. Given that my Wurlitzer 750 came from San Francisco I'd like to believe it was originally sold here, but of course there is no way to know.