In   1955   the   Post   war   import   restrictions   had   been   lifted by   the   British   Government,   this   meant   that   Jukeboxes were    now    available    to    be    imported    onto    the    UK    far cheaper   than   Ditchburn   could   build   them   at   the   Lytham factory,   around   1954   Ditchburn   had   been   looking   at   the German     Manufacturer     called     Tonomat,     they     were producing     a     100     selection     Jukebox     that     was     well engineered    and    with    slight    modifications    could    be    re- branded   as   a   Ditchburn   Music   Maker   for   the   UK   market. Arthur   Phillips,   Ditchburn’s   Chief   Audio   Engineer   told   us that   between   1955   and   1956   they   imported   around   50   of these   100   selection   units   from Tonomat,   this   was   the   start of    a    partnership    with    the    German    manufacturer    that would last 5 years.         Here is Arthur’s story on the  Tonomat Machines
The Tonomat Jukeboxes from Germany Imported between 1955 and 1960   
I   will   start   with   what   came   first   in   history,   in   1955   we   started   to   take   the   tail   end   of   the   Teleramic   100   juke   boxes,   these   were   a revelation   in   the   music   world   from   Germany   and   they   were   damn   good   engineered   for   life   it   is   true   the   Germans   knew   what   they   were doing.   The   first   amplifier   in   the   range   was   the   Telematic   T30   built   by   Cline   and   Hummel   now   we   only   had   about   20   or   so   of   these   but they   were   pretty   good   especially   for   the   bass   they   were   heavily   over   corrected   but   that   did   not   matter   in   those   days   I   loved   bass   the more the better.
The Tonomat Jukeboxes  By Arthur Phillips   
In   1957   and   the   advent   of   Telematic   200   player   and   then   the   Teleramic   200   the amplifier   reverted   to   the   T31   this   also   was   full   of   bass,   and   used   the   same   bias as   the   T30,   this   a   was   negative   bias   derived   from   one   half   of   the   HT   supply.   But in   this   ranger   of   juke   boxes   as   the   year   went   by   the   amplifiers   changed   the   T32, this   was   the   last   one   with   variable   treble   and   bass.   And   was   self   biased.   The T33,   T34,   these   were   also   self   biased   and   they   all   sounded   different   having switched   bass   and   treble,   and   they   had   different   tonal   changes   on   the   bass   and treble      and   more   importantly   the   bias   was   self   biasing   that   is   to   say   the   cathodes of   the   output   valves   were   returned   to   earth   via   a   resistor   I   don’t   know   whether this   was   right   or   not,   but   it   saved   on   production   cost.   In   1959   we   got   the   last   of these    machines    and    a    stereo    amplifier    there    were    two    amplifiers    for    this particular   machine   but   the   circuit   was   the   same   the   smaller   one   I   think   was   a T66   I   had   one   of   these   I   got   it   through   a   friend   that   went   to   the   sale   of   goods when   the   works   closed.   The   bass   was   no   were   as   near   as   the   earlier   mono amps, maybe because these were now 15 watts per channel stereo.
On   the   service   side   of   things,   the   first   thing   you did    was    to    change    all    the    capacitors    of    the black   Wyma   type,   you   would   see   cracked   and split    coverings    so    you    replaced    the    lot    for      Mullard   capacitors,   the   other   thing   you   did   was replace   the   decoupling   capacitors   to   the   output valves.   Then   time   to   test   if   all   sounded   well   OK if   not   find   out   why.   If   the   output   valves   were running   correctly   you   would   see   in   dim   light   the outputs    glowing    blue    this    signifies    that    the valves    were    all    pulling    48    milli-amps    and running   on   the   crest   of   the   valves   capacity,   but this    only    happened    if    Mullard    valves    were present,   we   used   what   we   could   get,   usually the   cheaper   valves   “Brimar”   these   would   run red   hot   on   the   anodes   but   performed   the   same as the Mullards.
To    my    mind    as    I    only    worked    on    amplifier    service    for    these machines   you   had   to   be   a   telephone   engineer,   why   because   they had   their   own   Strowger   exchange   in   them,   it   seems   daft   but   when you   look   at   the   system   you   used   a   dial   to   select   your   record   and   it had   to   dial   at   a   determined   rate   of   10   pulses   a   second   if   it   was more   or   less   you   did   not   get   anything   at   all   so   timing   of   the   pulses were   imperative.   So   if   you   know   about   phones   or   you   know   an   old fashioned   telephone   engineer,   he   would   understand   and   be   able   to fix   them   we   had   three   of   these   engineers   in   the   factory   and   bloody good   they   were   too,   Modern   telephones   today   operate   differently and   use   dial   tones   (DTMF)   the   new   engineers   might   not   have   the knowhow   to   fix   this   old   style   of   control. To   select   the   record   number you   used   a   telephone   dial,   these   were   manufactured   by   A.T.&   T American    dials    but    made    in    Germany,    and    the    speed    was corrected   by   the   bob   weights.   Also   the   relay   contacts   only   need cleaning   lightly   do   not   use   a   file   you   will   destroy   the   contact   and timing,   if   you   have   to   clean,   always   use   a   chemical   cleaner   spray. The   engineers   that   serviced   these   machine   did   it   methodically   they never   got   one   that   came   back   to   them.   These   engineers   were Erick Pass, and Peter Cain.
These   machines   were   returned   from   sites   in   the   early   60s   and were   stacking   up   the   workshop   from   1966   or   thereabouts,   and   we could    do    nothing    with    them.    The    punters    did    not    want    them because   they   looked   too   old   and   Ditchburn   did   not   want   to   scrap them   because   they   were   still   far   too   good   to   scrap.   Geoffrey Norman   Ditchburn   loved   these   machines.   They   were   the   first   he imported   from   Germany   when   the   trade   embargo   was   lifted   and they   were   the   only   machines   that   never   needed   more   than   a   new stylus    every    six    months    and    they    owed    him    nothing.    But scrapping   was   out   of   the   question   so   he   asked   cabinet   making companies   for   designs   for   a   new   cabinet   to   give   them   a   new lease    of    life    and    make    them    look    more    like    the    modern    day Wurlitzer’s. Of   the   three   designs   offered   he   chose   one   of   which   was   modern and   he   set   about   producing   the   first   ten   cabinets   in   1968,   they were   an   immediate   success.   We   had   hit   the   right   design   at   the right time so the old machines  were put in new cabinets. You   may   or   may   not   agree   but   it   did   give   an   excellent   mechanism a   new   lease   of   life   and   made   good   commercial   sense,   they   were offered   for   sale   and   quite   a   few   were   sold   outright   and   others went   for   hire,   not   all   the   original   cabinets   were   scrapped   though until    we    sold    out    the    company    in    1972    when    Gainesmead scrapped    all    Telematic’s    in    one    stroke.    They    were    the    first machines   to   go,   but   at   least   we   did   give   them   another   four   years. They   would   still   be   going   today,   so   if   you   have   one   of   these machines   look   after   it,   be   it   in   its   original   cabinet   or   in   a   Ditchburn cabinet   they   will   go   on   for   ever.   I   believe   the   Telematic’s   were   the best   jukebox   ever   produced   bar   none   especially   with   the   T31   or T32   amplifier,   they   were   ultra   reliable   and   if   not   messed   with   they would   go   on   forever.   We   only   had   one   engineer   that   looked   after the   selectors   of   these   machines,   an   ex   post   office   engineer   and he   looked   after   the Telematic   from   import   in   1957   to   the   scrapping in 1972, by Gainesmead.
Ditchburn / Tonomat Machines import figures 1955/1956 Telemat 100 selection approximately  50 machines imported 1957 Telemat Teleramic 200 selection approximately 150 machines imported 1959 Panoramic 200 selection approximately 100 machines imported 1960 Teleramic 200 selection approximately  50 machines imported An approximate total of 350 Tonomat machines were imported to the UK between 1955 and 1960
1948 to 1950 At   the   end   of   the   40s,   two   friends   from   the   area   around   Offenbach   /   Main   came   together   after   surviving   the   war,   the   technician   N.A.   and the   merchant,   with   a   good   technical   knack,   W.T. The   two   twenty-something   year   old   guys   first   develop   a   turntable   and   leave   this   patent. Unfortunately,   the   two   have   to   drop   this   matter   after   about   two   and   a   half   years.   The   initially   good   sales   prices   of   the   devices   fall   off rapidly   and   make   it   impossible   to   guarantee   the   livelihood. At   the   end   of   1950   W.T.   and   N.A. After   a   long   conversation,   continue   to   work together.   Here   comes   the   idea   to   deal   with   development   and   construction   of   the   first   German   jukeboxes.   Back   then,   only   American jukeboxes   were   available   in   local   restaurants,   whose   purchase   prices   were   sinfully   expensive   and   almost   un   affordable.   In   the   spacious mansard   of   the   residential   building   of   W.T.   in   Offenbach   the   first   prototype   of   a   jukebox   is   constructed   and   built   after   work   and   on weekends until late into the night. 1952 In   the   spring   of   1952,   the   30-year-old   precision   mechanic   A.D.   from   Frankfurt   to   the   two-man   troupe.   He   tackles   the   production   of   the mechanical   parts   for   the   boxes.   In   the   late   autumn   of   1952,   the   first   halfway   finished   jukebox   is   ready.   The   mechanics   are   fitted   in   a simple wooden case (manufactured in a joinery). The name of this jukebox is "Tonomat V 102". 1953 The   device   is   patented   and   presented   for   the   first   time   on   10.2.1953   in   an   Offenbach   city   cafe. This   is   well   received   by   some   young   folk but   above   all   in   the   media. At   the   end   of   May   1953   it   is   decided   to   start   producing   the   boxes   independently. The Tonomat   V   102   is   being revised.   The   joinery A.P.   in   Offenbach.   The   steady   increase   in   pit   production   and   the   associated   increase   in   staff   are   leading   to   several relocations   to   larger   and   larger   commercial   premises   in   the   surrounding   area   and   in   the   city   of   Offenbach.   At   the   beginning   of   August the   first   boxes   go   on   sale   -   Unit   price   DM   3000,   -.   In   the   second   half   of   March   you   register   at   the   District   Court   Offenbach   trade.   In November 1953, mechanical engineer E.B. the leadership in the small company. 1954 A   first   boxing   service   for   the   region      of   Munich   and   surrounding   areas   is   established.   It   is   headed   by   a   Bavarian   mechanic.   Meanwhile, they   develop   a   second   box   and   baptize   them   on   the   name   "Telematic   100",   which   can   play   50   records,   which   will   later   be   increased   to 100   pieces   with   the   "Telematic   200". The Tonomat   boxes   will   be   presented   successfully   at   some   fairs   Sales   figures   continue   to   increase after-sales   service   technicians   are   hired   and   trained   in-house   for   their   service.   In   the   summer   of   1955,   a   general   agency   is   opened   in Vienna. Furthermore, they also sells boxes from an English manufacturer ( Ditchburn) , with whom one has made the best contacts. 1956-1957 When   the   city   of   Offenbach   advertises   a   new   business   park   and   offers   cheap   land   there,   the   plant   managers   access   and   buy   the   site. There   one   builds   a   large   company   complex   with   administration,   sales,   assembly,   etc.,   which   is   inaugurated   on   30.11.1957   solemnly. The   company   name   "Tonomat"   now   lights   up   in   large   lettering   above   the   main   entrance.   Soon   there   will   be   a   first   boxing   order   of   1000 pieces from England (Ditchburn). In Munich, the small customer service becomes a larger agency of the company 1959 At   the   Frankfurt   Spring   Fair   the   latest   development   of Tonomat   will   be   presented,   the   "Panoramic   200",   a   large   box   for   a   small   price,   but with   a   double   capacity   of   200   records.   In   the   same   year,   the   General Administration   of   the American   box   manufacturer   "Wurlitzer",   the company   Husemann   collapses   in   Cologne   -   a   first   warning!   In   April   1959,   the   company   Tonomat   surprisingly   receives   a   visit   from   two senior   managers   of   the American   companies   "Canteen"   and AMI   (American   Musical   Instruments).   Half   a   year   earlier,   these   companies had   joined   forces.   Apart   from   boxes,   these   companies   also   built   beverage   and   food   vending   machines.   This   large   American   company also   wanted   to   establish   itself   in   Europe   and   had   the   plan   to   buy   the   company   "Tonomat"   for   it.   The   Tonomat   management   was   initially very   skeptical   about   this   request.   But   the   Americans   did   not   give   up.   After   long   and   tough   negotiations,   the   final   decision   was   made   in favor   of   the   Americans.   At   the   end   of   August   1959   the   company   "Tonomat"   changed   ownership   for   four   million   DM   and   from   now   on takes over the name "Canteen Automatenbau GmbH".    The   three   founders   continue   to   be   managing   directors.   The   focus   of   production   is   now   more   and   more   on   the   production   of   beverage and   food   vending   machines.   Cabin   assembly   is   becoming   more   and   more   of   a   byproduct.   Nevertheless,   a   new   box   type   is   released,   the "Teleramic 200". 1960 ff The   takeover   by   "Canteen"   soon   turns   out   to   be   a   mistake.   The   Americans   demand   too   fast   and   highly   productive   production   of machines   and   boxes   that   can   not   be   implemented   in   Germany.   The   market   share   is   reduced   to   almost   40%.   The   three   German company founders are therefore detaching themselves from Canteen and taking other career paths. In   1963   the   production   of   jukeboxes   is   completely   discontinued.   The   dream   of   the   three   company   founders   was   extinguished   and   a short, but quite successful jukebox company came to an end - unfortunately!
The History of Tonomat Jukeboxes 1948 to 1963  Translated from German, courtesy of