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The Mystery of Chuck’s TV

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I have a mystery on my hands. About a year ago while driving over West Ninth Street, just before the intersection of North Eighth Avenue and East Orange Street, something caught my eye — what appeared to be an old car in the woods. After a couple passes, I could see that it was indeed an old car. Curious, once home I started some research. On the newly updated Google maps this past spring, I could see the car in question. Checking the DNR Historical Airphotos, I found that up to 1961 there are what appears to be two buildings, houses or perhaps a house and some other type of building on that very corner. Sometime between 1961 and 1972 they were torn down, as they no longer appear on the 1972 imagery.


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So this fall I decided to actually check it out for myself, and I was not disappointed. The car (after some research later) is a spot-on match for a 4-door 1950s Chevrolet Deluxe Styleline, and it was not alone. There was another unidentified and very rusty car, turned over, leaning near upside down against a tree and what appeared to be the front end of another car not too far away, (all three seen in the top image). A short distance away, the foundations for the previously mentioned buildings also remain, with various rusty artifacts strewn about. However the real frosting on the cake was the Deluxe Styleline, it had writing on it. Chuck’s TV.

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It would seem that some time ago, this car was used for a TV repair service, the aforementioned titular Chuck’s TV, which according to the markings on the car, they made house calls and had the old-style phone number listed on sides and trunk, RA24655.

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Does anyone remember this business? Was it located near where the car now rests, or somewhere else in Duluth? Also, it’s a long shot, but historical photos would be a amazing if anyone has some, or an old advertisment, anything that can shed more light on this old rusty relic.

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The word Deluxe in front of the driver’s door and this picture I took helped solve what type of car it was, an early 1950s Chevrolet Deluxe Styleline.

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Here’s an example of the same car I found on the internet, at nearly the same angle. This one has been treated a lot better.

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Another shot of Chuck’s TV with it’s rusty companion. Fascinating, I want to know more of this story.

9 Comments

Dave P

about 4 years ago

Sounds like a good case for Mystery Show. If nobody here turns anything up, send 'em a link to this post.

TimK

about 4 years ago

I am not 100 percent positive about my memory, I think Chuck's TV & Appliance Repair was in the 700-800 W neighborhood before shutting down in the late 1960s. For some reason I also think there was a connection of some sort between Chuck's and what would later be known as Mel's TV & Audio which was located around 14th Avenue East & Superior Street. Take all of this with a huge grain of dubious salt, because I was just a kid at the time. Maybe a perusal of old telephone books would help.

hbh1

about 4 years ago

UMD library and the public library have old directories. I was able to look in the 1960 one online, and no Chuck's TV. So try a later one.

Ramos

about 4 years ago

Great post!

akjuneau

about 4 years ago

From the city directories I have access to:

1959 - That telephone number (RAndolph 2-4655) belongs to a Charles Working, who is listed as a "repr" (representative? repairman?) with General Electronics Inc., a company at 3829 Grand Ave. Mr. Working - who, it seems, is "Chuck" - is listed as living at 2115 W. Sixth St.

1961 - "Chuck's TV Service" is in the listings, run by Charles L. Working at 428 E. Seventh Street. "TV and Radio service and repair, all makes." (image attached - his listing was just a few spots ahead of Jeno Paulucci's Chun King Corp.) Charles is listed as living at that address along with his wife, Dorothy.

1964 - Charles Working is now listed as working as a porter at the Paul Bunyan Bar and Grill, and living with Dorothy at 528 E. Sixth St. By this time, the old phone exchanges have been replaced with "modern" phone numbers.

1970 - Charles Working is not listed. Dorothy Working is living at 311 E. Eighth St.

I also checked a 1954 directory - no listings for Charles or Dorothy Working.

As far as where the wrecked car is located -- the 1954 directory lists a Joseph Selner living at 801 W. Ninth and Chester Jahr living at 803 W. Ninth -- addresses that would match up with those buildings visible in the satellite photo. In 1959 and 1961, a Walter Selner is at 801 and 803 is vacant. Both homes are listed as vacant in 1964, and there's no listing for either address in 1970.

spy1

about 4 years ago

According to the 1940 Census, Chuck Working was living with a grandparent at age 17 (he was born in 1923 in Michigan) at 319 E. Seventh St., just a few blocks on the same street of his later business. Living in that home in 1940:

Henry Hagenbrock, 87
Son - Fred Hagenbrock, 56
Son - Harry Hagenbrock, 53
Daughter-in-law - Francis Hagenbrock, 48
Grandson - Charles Workin,g 17
Grandson - Harry Hagenbrock, 6

DECk37

about 4 years ago

Wow! Great info AKJUNEAU, thank you very much! It sounds like he branched out on his own after working for with General Electronics Inc, but it seems it only lasted a few years. Also, he's listed at another job the same year both homes were listed as vacant, interesting. So the question is, how did the car end up there then? Did a third party dump it there and strip it of parts while the place was vacant? Did Chuck know the owners of the houses, sell the car to them, maybe they were junkers?  Well, at least we were able to connect some history together,  get some of the story behind the car, I wish we could get even more.

TimK

about 4 years ago

One of the sales clerks at Mel's was a Hagenbrock, but not known if actually related. Love the history in this mystery!

Jorge Hagenbrock

about 3 years ago

This is pretty incredible. Charles Working is my uncle. He disappeared decades ago and none of our family ever knew what happened to him. Thanks for all your work and if anyone can find out more info all twelve of us kids and his brother would love to know!

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