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The story of the Multiphone is an unique chapter in coin-opearted phonograph history, and represents an attemp at large-scale chain operation. In 1905 the manufacturers placed seven test models on location for a 1-year period and discovered that each machine averaged a gross of $501. Paying locations a 20% commission, and with record costs of $12.50 and maintenance expenses of $25, the machines claimed to have each netted an annual take of $363.50.
Compagnies were organized to operate the machines manufactured by the parent Multiphone Co., and in 1906, these concerns placed the phonograph on a percentage basis in their territories. Stock in these operating compagnies was sold to the public and dividends were paid from the machines' net earnings, 50% going to the stockholders and 50% to the operating concern which used its share of the profits to buy more Multiphones, valued at $250 each. However, the stock promoters had failed to foresee the development and competition of rival coin-operated phonographs and player pianos, which were being sold outright to location owners, and in 1908 the Multiphone Co. found itself bankrupt.