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    Ralph Spracklin
    CVRS Member

    Radio Disposal

    Many years ago, when I was just 18 years old. That would be 64 years ago now. I worked for a Company in St. John’s, NL that imported and sold Radios across the Island, through dozens of independent agents, as well as directly from their own store on the west end of Water Street. There were General Electric, Marconi, Westinghouse, Stromberg Carlson Consoles, RCA, etc., along with German sets galore, Grundig AEG, Telefunken etc. You name it, they sold them. I suppose they sold thousands of such sets. Some of these Electronic Beasts were as big as refrigerators cut in half, others just eight by ten. My job at that time was that of Shipper and Receiver, and each month I would receive by mail, by boat or by train, dozens of such radios, returned for repairs to our warehouse and Our Radio Repair Depot, housed in the old Springdale Street, wood framed Schoolhouse building.

    Many of these radios were battery operated, as many communities, strung out along the rocky Newfoundland coastline, never had electricity.

    This old Schoolhouse was a three story wood frame building. The main floor of this building was designated as Shipping and Receiving, with an office for the Manager. The lower floor was where the Radio Repair Department was located. As I said I would receive hundreds of these radios each month, and would direct them to the repair department below, along with customer letters describing the problems they were having with their sets. When repairs were completed the radios were sent back up to me to be wrapped in brown shipping paper and placed on shelves, awaiting payment from customers. Upon receipt of payment I shipped those radios back to their owners. If payment was not received within a certain period of time, these radios were sent up to the third floor loft for storage. I remember one time when the loft was so filled with radios, that we were directed to load, hundreds of said radios aboard a huge twenty foot stake-body truck, with the directions that they would be taken to the local Land Fill site at Robin Hood Bay, for disposal. Once there those old electronic relics were plowed under, by the huge yellow Cats. I was not there for that part of the operation, but I can imagine that the operators of the heavy equipment, most likely had choice pickings that day, of which radios they would rescue from the pile, and take back to their homes that evening. This for me was indeed a very bad day.



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