May 6, 2009

Kensington Television

When I was home this week, I went up to the little strip mall in downtown K-Town that, when I was growing up, was home to the 7-11, a barbershop, the consignment store, a florist and an old TV repair shop. I noticed that amazingly they were all still there, though the 7-11 had gone upscale as some sort of fancy "Market" that served croissants and macchiatos as well as Hostess snack products.

But what amazed me most was the TV repair shop. It has not changed at all not only since I was a kid but it looks like since maybe the mid-1950s as indicated by the listing of the "Dumont" brand above the door.
Dumont not only manufactured top of the line sets in the 40's and 50's but it was also the original fourth television network. The nascent network broke up in 1956 due to a lack of stations and stars. After that, Dumont TV's were still manufactured by Emerson for a few years. But now, like this store, they are relics of a lost era.

Though Kensington Television listed actual business hours, I peeked in didn't see much activity inside. Or anyone in the store for that matter. The interior was stacked with old antique sets and radios. It made a nice window display though, a sort of living Smithsonian right in my hometown.