Hidden in an alley in Northside of Pittsburgh an old boarded up Building hid a Music Box Service like no where else in the world.

Yes " Telephone Music  "was a service like no other.
You walked in a bar to the Jukebox inserted a quarter then picked up the old  phone  on top of the Juke Box  with out a dial and a lady would ask you the number of the song you wanted to hear and magically it come out of the speaker in the juke box .

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2199&dat=19880807&id=mKtAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vOYFAAAAIBAJ&pg=7140,1559731

It lasted some time into the 90's when the  lady you heard on the phone  Helen Reutszel  closed her door in a boarded up building in a back alley for the last time  for a business her dad has created decades  earlier and at one time was in several city's
But stored away in the 2 story walk up was a collection of the music boxes which had the receivers  which tied to the telephone line which made them so unique and after quietly sitting for  decades in an attic a customer of mine found them and is now in the process of rescuing them.   

 Hopefully they will be lovingly restored and the story about Telephone music will go on and not lost to history

The movie can be found on Youtube at following link.  its 47 minutes into movie you will see one of the juke boxes if you fast forward







A witch Craft Shop a Funeral Home and a Catholic Church makes for a major dispute and a unsolved mystery in late 1960's Pittsburgh

The late 1960s was an interesting time when I was a kid growing up in Carrick   the 29th ward community which is part of the City of Pittsburgh. The race riots had happened and people where still on edge when a small red brick store front across the street from St Basil's where I attended grade school  on Brownsville Road  all of a sudden went from a Tailor Shop to a shop called " The Hanged  Man " which sold Witchcraft Supply's. Now in the 60's WICCA was a very much misunderstood  nature religion and seen as devil worshiping and pagan in nature .




So locating beside a funeral home a church and school was not a good thing.



The shop had a sign in the window which looked similar to the tarot card image above and inside they sold all kind of candles and scents etc which was used in The Craft as they call it. All harmless when correctly used yet they where persecuted by many in the community who wanted them gone.
it got so bad with the shop and its customers being there from all kinds of unfounded rumors  from sacrificing baby's to trying to kidnap local kids that the local Funeral Director Mr. Boron  bought the building evicted the shop and tore down the building and made it a parking lot .
A few days after the shop was evicted the funeral home was severely vandalized by vandals who threw balloons full of multi colors of paint  all over it which cost thousands to repair and sand blast off. The people who ran the Hanged man where considered suspects but no one was ever arrested for the crime and they where never heard from again.
Today such shops are no big deal but back then it was because of church teachings it was bad and evil and a sin. Just another case of people not being able to live in harmony with each other ,and true Wiccan's would never had done what was done to the funeral home it was more than likely kids in the niehborhood pissed off they chased the store out but they where easy scape goats to blame.The grade school I went to closed and is now a Pittsburgh Public School

Where a Burglar Alarm Distributor now operates Ironically was once the scene of a Major Computer Theft

In the early 80's Moose Products came out with the 725 panel an attempt at an integrated alarm system  which ended very badly for Moose Products  bottom line as it had a very fatal flaw it would disarm all by itself for no reason. This became a focal point in a very large computer theft at the then Laurel Computer Systems which has since gone out of business  at the corner of Banksville road and Potomac Ave. in Pittsburgh. Which Ironically is now the location of Alarmax Distributors  a large burglar alarm distributor. Where I purchase equipment and where not in business at time of the theft .
I became involved in the case when a fellow electrician called my self and another friend Frank M. to come and look at the Moose 725 panel he installed at laurel Computer to determine if a burglar had intercepted and gotten around the system as there was a major theft  approx $500,000 .00 of  PC desk top computers
 This was back when a desk top unit ran $3500.00 a piece.


Well myself and Frank meet up  and looked the system over and it was a well done installation
Perimeter and Interior where well covered and panel and sirens tampered when the door was manipulated and  opened by the burglars the alarm should have gone off if it was armed
But it did not the owners where all polygraphed and passed and the crime was never solved to my knowledge and Laurel went out of business a couple months later  and the site became several things over the years including a cell phone store. It was a couple months after the burglary when it was realized the panels had the fatal flaw of disarming by themselves from power surges which where not as well understood as they are today  and since the panels at the time had no logging of events like they do today the employees swore under oath they had turned the system on.but apparently the panel disarmed over the weekend and the burglars where got lucky when they struck. Of course this was not the only panel moose made which had this problem its MPI 50 also had a problem of disarming when attacked in a certain way. I never heard again from the electrician or the owners of the business 
but it appears there was no further legal action and I have no idea if there was even insurance coverage. But these where the high stakes days of constantly turning technology which was new one day and old the next and much was learned and technicians like my self completely aggravated by products like the 725 which where never fully tested before shoved out into the market place.