4d ago
I’m always fascinated by “vanished” history/technology. We think we have a general understanding of what happened up until now, but so much has come and gone without leaving an indelible footprint.
My first job in college was at one of the campus eateries where they had a Coke video jukebox. It was a bank of laser disc players controlled by a PC. We discovered if you could get your hand in, you could find the keyboard and press S (I think), and get free credits. I believe it was about 50 cents a video and you could pick. This was early-mid 1990s, so a lot of grunge and alt, though my favourite was David Bowie's Jump They Say. Periodically someone came out to put in new discs.
Ah, the Mills Novelty Company, which put some of the most advanced electromechanical technology of the period into coin-operated entertainment devices. Their violin-playing machine was a coin-operated device for bars and clubs. They even figured out how to make it self-adjust its tuning.
The Panoram player unit looks gorgeous:

Imagine placing an art deco wood object in a public location like a bus stop and expecting it to survive for more than a day in 2022. Different times.

Sounds like an early TikTok.