Name Of Product/Service

Nickel-In-The-Slot Phonograph


First jukebox / streaming-sercice in the world.


The “nickel-in-the-slot phonograph,” created by Louis Glass and William S. Arnold, was an Edison Class M wax cylinder phonograph fitted with a coin mechanism and four stethoscope-like listening tubes. Each set of tubes was operated individually and activated when a patron put a nickel in the slot.

The player enabled four listeners to “privately” enjoy the same tune. Popular saloon songs of the day? How about "Down Went McGinty," "Pretty as the Butterfly," or maybe "The Rip Van Winkle Polka"?

There was no amplification and wax cylinders had to be changed every day or so to preserve audio quality, which was frighteningly bad by today’s standards.

By May 1890, 15 of the slot phonographs had been installed in local bars or on Oakland-San Francisco ferries. At Chicago's first annual Convention of Local Phonograph Companies of the United States, patent-holder Glass announced that his invention had raked in more than $4,000— lots of nickels spent and the equivalent of well over $100,000 today.

The success of the jukebox eventually spelled the end of the player piano, then the most common way of pounding out popular music.

Innovation | USP

First physcial streaming service that made money with the creative works of artists without paying them the deserved roylaties. :)
The Nickel in the Slot machine was designed so that each tube operated independently of the others, each activated by the insertion of a nickel.Four different people could listen to the same song simultaneously. Towels were supplied so that listeners could clean the tube after each listening.

Type of Innovator
Contact Details Innovator

San Francisco, California, United States of America

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