Rock-Ola Juke Box, ca. 1948

Value (2012) | $2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction

My dad was in the American Legion and he was down at the Legion hall one day in the storage room, and happened to see this sitting in the corner and asked if they wanted to sell it, and they thought they might as well. They used to use it for dances and that sort of thing, but they hadn't used it in years. And this is like 1971. So anyway, he acquired it that way and brought it home, and we've had it ever since.

Did you ever find out what he paid for it or do you know?

Well, he was kind of cagey about some of those type of things. He said $25, but I don't know how that...

It is a Rock-Ola. It's a model 1428, which was manufactured in 1948. It plays 78 RPMs, and it holds 20 of them. This is sort of the end of the golden era of these light-up jukeboxes. And the demise came as a result of the fact that it couldn't handle more records. Rock-Ola was founded by David Rockola in about 1927. He bought the rights to the mechanism which would change the records. And he became a very fierce competitor of Wurlitzer and one of the leading manufacturers of jukeboxes. You got to love a name Rock-Ola. It's very fine condition. You know, these are certainly vulnerable to damage. The sides are plywood and can bubble and warp. And you can see if we look at this one, paint specks, very authentic. And then if we opened up the front of the box, you can see that it's just pristine inside.


And condition matters in everything. People pay a premium for it. Do you have a thought of what it's worth today?

No, not really. We've tried to get it appraised, and it never has worked out to get somebody to check it out for sure. So don't have any idea.

Okay. I think at auction in today's market, a fair auction estimate would be $2,000 to $3,000.


And might fetch a little bit more just because of the condition of it. I mean it really is uncommon to find them this clean.

That's great. I see, yeah. We've had a lot of fun with it.

Appraisal Details

Sacramento, CA
Appraised value (2012)
$2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Rapid City, SD (July 14, 2012)

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