UPDATE: The Last Jukebox Made in Grand Rapids has been Located!
Last week I did a post on the history of jukeboxes being made in Grand Rapids, MI. Over 1 million jukeboxes were manufactured in a building over on Cottage Grove SE. That plant has since shut down, and the manufacturing of those devices has moved out of the country…but I was able to locate the very last jukebox that was made in that location!
After I did the last article, Bud Klass emailed me to let me know that he has the final jukebox that was made in Grand Rapids. He purchased it a few years ago from a person who won it in a raffle when Rowe/AMI moved operations out of the city.
Bud sent a few pictures along as well! The jukebox is in mint condition. He even has a certificate that says it was the last jukebox produced. It was completed on February 16th, 2009 and was put together by Bruce Rexford. (I am so jealous of Bud right now! How cool to have such a cool part of history.)
As for all the other jukeboxes that were in the private museum I wrote about in my last post — from various posts on Facebook, it looks like the were all moved out of the building on Cottage Grove and were put into storage somewhere. At one point a few of them were on display at the Grand Rapids Public Museum for a temporary exhibit. I was also told that there were a few in the lobby of Kendall College of Art and Design for a period of time. As of now, I don’t think there are any of them on display. How cool would it be to have a Jukebox Museum here in Grand Rapids? I wonder if there is a way to make that happen?!
Thank you to everyone who updated me on the history of the company. Many people who worked there made comments on my Facebook page. What a cool part of Grand Rapids history that is now long gone.