On this day Nov 18th, 1959

Future site of Western Electric purchased in Muhlenberg Township

Nov 18th, 1959 Reading Eagle

TV Stereo Advertisement from Pomeroys

Dance to your favorite records plated on the 4-speed automatic record changer or simple add the space-saving stereo amplifier unit and enjoy life-like realism of stereophonic sound. Or just relax and enjoy this big-screen TV. Yours now for the first time at this low, low price.

Costa Rican Group Visits Textile

Harry Swartz, atop stairway, apprentice supervisor for the Textile Machine Works, points out the working of a machine to a Costa Rican apprenticeship team that visited the local plant today. Left to right, are: Manuel Maria Granados, labor inspector II, Ministry of Labor; Roberto Fernandez, manager of the Rupublic Tobacco Co. in Curridabat, office, Ministry of Labor; Antonio Gonzalez, cheif vocation education secretary, Ministry of Education; Shwartz; Adolfo Bagnarello, chief mechanic I, Ministry of Public Works; Alfredo Rodriguez, director general, Ministry of Labor, and John Moyer, an employee of Textile. (Eagle Staff Photo)

White House Market Ad

On this day in 1990 – Dempsey’s Dutch Boy Stolen

On this day, April 7th 1990 the Dempsey’s Dutch Boy statue was stolen from it’s location on the 5th Street Highway in Muhlenberg.

Dempsey's Dutch Boy

5th Street – 1971 Then & Now

Below are Aerials shots from 1971, showing what Fifth street highway/Route 61/Kutztown Road looked like just north of the city. A few of the notable  structures are the Reading Fairgrounds, Bellevue Diner, and Gethsemane Cemetery. The Warren Street Bypass was also noticeably not extended past 5th street at the time of this photo. Five years after this photo, the bypass was connected up to Pricetown Road, as it is still today.

Fifth Street 1971
1971

Fifth Street 1971
2018

Some notable places:

Fifth Street 1971
intersection of 5th Street and Bellevue Ave; the Bellevue Diner

Fifth Street 1971
Muhlenberg School Campus. You can see the current high school building was under construction, and opened in 1972.

Fifth Street 1971
The Fairgrounds

Blockbuster Video – A Relic of the Past

Blockbuster Shillington
Old Location on RT. 724 in Shillington.  Photo Source

There were once four Blockbuster locations in Berks County, one being the above on Route 724/Lancaster Pike in Shillington. The others were at 4860 Penn Ave in Sinking Spring near Redner’s Market, 3262 N 5th Street Highway in Muhlenberg Shopping Plaza, and 3985 Perkiomen Avenue in Mt. Penn/Exeter.

Berks county Blockbuster Video
RT. 724 Blockbuster after bankruptcy & closure. Turned into a Walgreens

4860 Penn Ave Sinking Spring Blockbuster, all the way on the left.

Perkiomen Ave/Exeter Promenade Blockbuster Location

Blockbuster, was an American-based provider of home movie and video game rental services through video rental shops, DVD-by-mail, streaming, video on demand, and cinema theater. Blockbuster became internationally known throughout the 1990s. At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster employed 84,300 people worldwide, including about 58,500 in the United States and about 25,800 in other countries, and had 9,094 stores in total, with more than 4,500 of these in the US.

Competition from the Netflix mail-order service, Redbox automated kiosks, and video on demand services were major factors in Blockbuster’s eventual demise. Blockbuster began to lose significant revenue during the 2000s, and in 2010, the company filed for bankruptcy protection. The following year, its remaining 1,700 stores were bought by satellite television provider Dish Network. While the Blockbuster brand has mostly been retired, Dish still maintains a small number of Blockbuster franchise agreements, which allows some stores to remain open in a few markets. – Source

There are still a few Blockbusters around, but if you want to visit one you might need a plane ticket. Most locations are in Alaska, two are in Oregon, and one in Texas. They are still very successful in Alaska due to certain streaming and internet services still not being offered there. The only way to get movies in some parts of Alaska are still a Blockbuster video store!

My future children will never know the excitement of walking into a Blockbuster Video on a Friday or Saturday night to pick out a movie for a friend sleepover, family movie night, or date night. For that reason, we can officially file Blockbuster (and family video rental stores in general) under “Nostalgia”.

Reading Municipal Memorial Stadium

Municipal Stadium hosted it’s first baseball game in 1951.

Municipal Stadium - 1950s

On March 28, 1945, Reading City Council voted unanimously to purchase 27 acres of ground known as Cathedral Heights at a cost of $64,491 for the purpose of building a municipal stadium. In 1947 the grading of the land began and by 1949 the initial stages of construction could be seen. With a final price tag of $656,674, the stadium was completed on April 15, 1951. Named in honor of the service men and women who gave their lives for our country, Reading Municipal Memorial Stadium was dedicated on July 15 that same year.

The stadium was originally known as Reading Municipal-Memorial Stadium before corporate sponsorship resulted in its current name.

Mike Schmidt made his professional debut at the ballpark on June 17, 1971 in an exhibition game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Reading Phillies. The Phillies had signed Schmidt on June 11. In the exhibition game, Schmidt played the whole game at shortstop for the Phillies and hit the game-winning home run against Reading.

On July 13, 1977, The Reading Municipal Stadium hosted a concert by the band Chicago. To date, this was the only major entertainment event held at the 9,000-seat facility.

Prior to Municipal Stadium, Reading’s professional baseball teams played at Lauer’s Park. – Source

Municipal Stadium - 1950s

In 1989, Municipal Stadium underwent the renovations for new seating, grandstand and a roof overhead. Since the early 90s, many food stands have been added, along with pavilions and a face-lift to the exterior front to modernize the park. By the time the mid-2000s rolled around, there was a pool, various weight rooms and other picnic areas added.

The two black & white photos above were taken by my Grandfather, sometime in the 50s or 60s.

Reading Municipal Memorial Stadium