Source: loaned by Valeri DeCastris
The lady sitting at photo right was Valeri’s mother, Beatrice “Pat” Macaluso. Pat married musician Valentino E DeCastris “VAL EDDY”, who performed in the Val Eddy Trio and later Val Eddy Duo. Her twin sister, Congetta (Connie) Macaluso seated left in photo became Connie Capicotte after marriage. Our first mystery is the woman sitting in the center who turned out to be Raytheon Amana spokesperson Barbara Hale (confirmed).
We think the photo was taken on 2nd St., near E. State St. probably in 1952, based on the Illinois 51 sign on the street light post. The exact location is the 2nd mystery. ****No longer a mystery: Jeff Aulik found the location, which was on or about 209 Seventh St., looking south. They were about 1/2 a block away from Hedrick Electric, licensed to sell Raytheon TVs. In 2017, the block looks like this: The U.S. 51 sign is still there!
Raytheon was promoting their television’s capability to get both UHF and VHF. Rockford had 2 television stations. WREX-13 was the first television station to apply. (WZOK radio applied for a UHL permit in 1948.) The used one allotted UHF licenses in Rockford. The second allotted channel was reserved by the FCC for educational programs. A third application was filed by H. B. Dubinsky to get a UHF license in Rockford who had not broadcast at all, in June 1952, for Channel 39, Raytheon televisions came with a dial that received both UHF and VHF which other televisions did not. Other TVs could be modified. We think the photo must be from between June 1952 and May 3, 1953 when Channel 39’s inaugural tv show on air took place. The cars suggest that the photo could have been from the 1940’s. Third mystery.
According to the Raytheon Corporation, it was Barbara Hale in the center of the three girls. Barbara Hales became the spokesperson of Raytheon Amana Radarrange and made appearances at promotions. Rockford newspapers do not have articles about her appearances at that time,