Coin-operated music boxes and player pianos were the first forms of automated coin-operated musical devices. These were soon followed in the 1890s by coin-operated phonographs. The introduction of recording on wax cylinder records made possible records which could survive many plays, and early operators converted cylinder phonographs to accept a coin, usually a nickel, which unlocked the mechainsm, allowing the listener to turn a crank which simultaneously wound the spring motor and placed the reproducer's stylus in the starting groove. Frequently exhibitors would equip many of these machines with listening tubes (accoustic headphones) and array them in "phonograph parlors" allowing the patron to select between multiple records, each played on its own machine. Some machines even contained carousels and other mechinisms for playing multiple records. However, by the early 1900s the novelty of the phongraph wore off and this, combined with the advent of phonographs in the home, as well as the increasing sophistication and volume of mechanical orchestrions in public facilities, led to the decline of the coin-operated phonograph industry.
The advent of electrical recording and amplification lead to a resurgence of the coin-operated phonograph.
One of the first successful selective jukeboxes was an automatic phonograph produced in 1927 by the Automated Musical Instrument Company, later known as AMI. In 1928, Justus P. Seepburg, who manufactured player pianos, created an electrostatic loudspeaker combined with a record player that was coin operated and gave the listener a choice of eight records. The term "juke box" came into use in the United States in the 1930s, apparently derived from the African-American slang term "juke" or "jook", meaning "dance". The shellac 78 rpm record dominated jukeboxes until the Seeburg Corporation introduced an all 45 rpm vinyl record jukebox in 1950.