Over on Boing Boing Gadgets, guestblogger Charlie "Modern Mechanix" Shopsin has found video of a captivating 1950s tour of a Wurlitzer factory!
The video I'm linking to today is called "A Visit to Wurlitzer:" made in 1950, this film visits the factory that made Wurlitzer jukeboxes. Maybe not the most exciting video to watch but it is fascinating. Think about all of the buzzwords relating modern production: just-in-time logistics, outsourcing, off-the-shelf components, sub-contractors, and even automation. Now think of the opposite and you'll have some idea of what this factory was like.
Wood, plastic and metal go in one end, and jukeboxes come out the other. They make pretty much everything on site. There are chemists who develop and produce the varnishes, machinists who make the tools, and a sharpening room. They even make their own plywood. Because they produce pretty much everything from the cabinet to the smallest circuit on their assembly line, the schematics for a single jukebox cover 300,000 square feet of blueprint.