Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Newhall Radio & Television Service Co.
Newhall, California

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Newhall Radio & Television Service Co., 823 Spruce St., 1952-1956.

Russ Magowan Jr., son of Russ "Mac" Magowan, writes:

Russ Magowan Sr., known by the locals as "Mac," was the owner of Newhall Radio & Television Service Co. at 823 Spruce Street. Newhall residents were introduced to television in the late 1940s by way of gathering outside of Chittwood's furniture store in the evening and watching this new phenomenon through the store window.

With television came the need to repair them. "Mac" opened up his repair business, first located in a small shop in the back yard of his house on Walnut Street, and a few years later he moved uptown. By day, "Mac" and his hired help fixed radios and TV's in the shop, and at night, usually from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., "Mac" drove his 1949 Plymouth business coupe to perform "in-house" repairs.

Back in the days before cable, everyone had a TV antenna on their roof, or better yet on the hill out back, if they had a hill. The higher up you got the antenna, the better the TV reception. "Mac" and his crew used a 3/4-ton Army surplus truck to transport supplies and equipment out to the job site for the installation of antennas.

In 1956 the business was sold. Note the two-digit phone number!

I have so many fond memories of my childhood growing up on Walnut Street in Newhall. Those were the days when the milkman still delivered milk at your doorstep. In my mind's eye, I can still hear the huffing and puffing of an early-morning steam engine locomotive trying to "get going" from a dead stop in Saugus as it picked up speed making its way on into Newhall and beyond. In those simpler times, you might have read a story in the Newhall Signal that went something like this: "Bob Moss, who lives (on) Chestnut Street, was traveling south on Walnut Street when he came to a full stop at the corner of Lyons Avenue. Upon making a right turn, and heading west on Lyons, Bob's back right tire came loose. The tire went all the way across Lyons Avenue and into Mrs. Williams' front yard, located at 342. The tire nearly hit "Pete," Mrs. Williams' small chihuahua dog. The tire ended up on Mrs. Williams' front porch, knocking over a pot of begonias she had just put out on Tuesday. Let's be thankful nobody was hurt, especially 'Pete.'"

Russ Magowan Jr. lived in Newhall from birth in 1944 until 1978, when he moved his family to Texas and later to Atlanta, Ga. He maintains a Web site at CowboyBeds.com.


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