David Rockola, founder of Rock-Ola Mfg. Co. in 1927, was among the legacy inductees in the Amusement Industry Hall of Fame. World famous for his jukeboxes, Rockola first operated a route of machines starting in 1923 at age 26.
He began with gumball machines and other vending devices of the time, setting up routes in 1924 as the Rockola Scale Co., which put scales on location. In 1925, he expanded with his Target Skill Machine company, operating A.B.T. Countertop skill guns.
By 1927, he consolidated all his businesses into Rock-Ola Mfg. Co. and in 1935 Rockola created his first jukebox – the Model A. Years later when WWII arrived, the company switched gears and became a prime contractor for the M1 carbine for the military. After the war, jukes started to become all the rage and Rock-Ola introduced its Magic Glow series. They also added shuffleboards into the mix in the 1950s.
A legend of the industry, Rockola was given a letter of recognition and appreciation from President George H.W. Bush in 1989 following a recommendation from RePlay Publisher (and fellow Amusement Industry Hall of Famer) Eddie Adlum.