Victoria Neufeldt vneufeldt at M-W.COM
Fri Jun 30 12:52:39 UTC 2000

Just for the record, here are the results of my quick check in our old
citation files (didn't have time to do this earlier):

Fortune, Sept 1939:  "From fat to lean and halfway back again: for its
current boom the record industry can thank _juke-boxes_, light- and
heavy-music lovers, and technology."

Time, Sept 14 (? unclear on cite; p. # is 36), 1039:  "Once the upswing had
its initial bounce, other factors kept it moving.  Most important of these
was the popularity of the slot machine or "juke box" which retailed melody
in small barrooms, lunch counters and dance joints at 5c a shot.  With an
estimated consumption rate of more than 30,000,000 discs annually, the
300,000 juke boxes in the U.S. are today the record industry's largest

Harpers Magazine, Dec 1942:  "Then in the early 1930's _juke boxes_ began to
appear in large numbers.  At first they were simply a fad; today it is
estimated that there are more than four hundred thousand of them in
operation in the United States."

The Dec 25, 1939 issue of Time had a couple of interesting letters to the
1)     "Sirs: Perhaps I am getting behind in my knowledge of slang, but
where did you get the name "juke box" for nickel phonographs in your article
about Glenn Miller? (Time, Nov. 27).  In Michigan, Indiana and Ohio,
everyone calls them "Groan Boxes" and the expression, "Flip a nickel in the
groan," is generally understood.  Have you any other nicknames on file?
G. Carlton Burandt    Coldwater, Mich."
2)     "Sirs: Time (Nov. 27, p. 56) refers to a coin-operated phonograph as
a "juke box."  Since Gainesville is -- if not the birthplace -- at least the
incubator and nursery for the term, I feel a more-or-less fatherly interest
in it and ask that you conform to our usage in the future.  To the Florida
Man such an instrument is a jook-organ and nothing else.   My efforts to
point out reasons for our usage would be puny compared to Will McGuire's
excellent "A Note on Jook," so I will simply enclose a copy of his work for
your information.  This is taken from the spring 1938 edition of _The
Florida Review_, published at the University of Florida.   T.F. Koch
Gainesville, Fla."
An editorial note by Time follows: "Says Authority McGuire: '_jook_ as noun
means a rather ordinary roadhouse outside the city limits ... where beer is
for sale, and where there is a coin phonograph, or nickelodeon, and space
for dancing.'  --Ed."

Among other cites is one from The Commonweal, Sept 30, 1940 and another from
Liberty Magazine, October 26, 1940.  From 1941 on there are a fair number of
cites from a variety of periodicals.  One slip mentions a discussion of the
term in American Speech in 1940, which in turn mentions articles on its
origin and words derived from it, in the Chicago Tribune, in April, 1940
(Apr 2, p. 12; Apr 4, p. 16; and Apr 5, p. 16).

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
> Of Bapopik at AOL.COM
> Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2000 11:10 PM
> Subject: Re: "jukebox"
>    Again, see the RHHDAS H-O, pp. 323-324 ("juke" and "jukebox" and "juke
> organ") and DARE I-O, pp. 163-164 ("jook" ).
>    I had found a "juke box" around the same time period in VARIETY.
>    The 1939 Barry Buchanan unpublished ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE ENTERTAINMENT
> WORLD might have "jukebox," but I haven't finished copying it.

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