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The Power of One Black and White Television

Way back in 1920, a young Vearl Manwill loaded up his horse drawn wagon with a load of pipe, a small selection of tools and a crate of carbide lights and headed out on his own. Vearl traveled from farm house to farm house throughout northern and central Utah, living with each family, while he installed “modern” carbide lanterns and piping for the first indoor lighting system. When the first natural gas line came into Salt Lake, Vearl worked on the pipeline crew. He eventually settled in Salt Lake City with his first garage located in South Salt Lake on 2700 south.
In 1943, Vearl opened his first showroom located at 365 east 300 south in Salt Lake. Since the bank would not loan money for selling just plumbing and heating goods, Vearl had to open up a complete hardware store including appliances and jewelry. Vearl purchased one of the first black and white television sets that came to Salt Lake. He set it in his showroom window and turned it on. He would go home for dinner and afterward he and his wife Mellisa would return to the office to turn the television off (since there were no programs after 9:00 p.m.). Each night when he returned he noticed the crowd around the front showroom window was growing and growing with people standing out front watching the latest invention, “the television”. This new invention was such a hit that his name spread all around town. People were talking about the television over at Manwill’s, and providing the excellent service as he did, business grew and as it grew he discontinued the appliances and displayed what he did best, plumbing and heating.