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Thanks to Mari McGehee for this week’s photo showing Gene Trask on East Madison Street. Behind Gene is the Sandwich Shop (left) and Art’s Radio & TV (right). I don’t believe I’ve covered Mount Ayr’s early radio and television shops so we’ll do that now. Most of my information comes from Record-News newspapers.
The first radio in Mount Ayr that I’m aware of was in John Wall’s grocery store in May of 1922. The first radio shop I have information on was in the Odd Fellows building in March of 1931. The names connected with this business were Glenn Baird, Howard Ullery, and Homer Johnston. Glenn Baird sold the firm to Henry Kimble in September 1935. Kimble moved the business to the back of his shoe repair shop at 121 N. Taylor.
Another radio shop was opened by E. L. (Ted) Marrs in October 1945 in the basement of the Clyde Lesan & Co. building (100 S. Taylor). Marrs moved to the Hutchinson & Snedeker building (110 N. Taylor) in October 1946 and was the first occupant of the north room in the newly constructed building. The first television set in Mount Ayr was on display in Ted Marrs’ Radio Shop in July 19949. In February 1950, Dr. and Mrs. T. I. Moffet became the owners of Mount Ayr’s first private television set.
Marrs closed out in the summer of 1952 but another radio shop had opened in February 1949. Art Luckinbill started out at 121 N. Taylor but moved to the Odd Fellows building in the early 1950s. Luckinbill had much success selling Sylvania television sets.
By the mid-50s, one could buy a radio at a furniture store or a gas station. TV sets could be purchased at hardware stores or auto dealerships. In 1955, Cole’s Firestone hired Perry Woollums as their TV and radio repairman. That same year, Hank Smith opened Hank’s TV and Appliance. Don Friday opened a TV, radio, and shoe repair shop in January 1957. Dealers and repair shops were commonplace. Today, not so much.
Willis Shinkle opened an electrical repair shop at 207 S. Fillmore in August 1970. Jim and Ruth Brand opened Brand’s TV at 206 N. Taylor in January 1976. Cable television came to Mount Ayr in late 1977. If I remember correctly, early cablevision had about fifteen channels.
I bought my last TV at Sound and Service in Carroll, Iowa in 2009, but I bought my first color TV at Brand’s around 1978. I got my first transistor radio, a Panasonic, in 1968 and I had it until about 1979. I still listen to local radio stations in my car.