, Salem, MA


August 21, 2013

A new look for an old business

Marconi Radio has survived by changing with the times — including its public mural


Coleman said the Marconi Radio mural posed a challenge — it’s the first time he has painted a mural on a security grate.

Like the Casa de Moda mural, which depicts a streetscape in a way that is meant to fool the eye, this mural depicts what the storefront window might look like when the store is open and the grate is up.

The mural depicts a poster of the first radio transmission by Guglielmo Marconi, and signs hanging in the front window that read “cell phones,” “trades welcomed” and the phone number of the store. There is also Coleman’s signature blind mouse sitting on the bottom of the grate.

Also depicted looking in the front window is Alexander Graham Bell, pondering whether he should upgrade his old phone at the store. Coleman had Jack Hudson of Beverly pose as Bell for the mural.

(Bell had a connection to Salem as the place where he worked on his invention for three years. A plaque on the Lyceum Hall on Church Street states this was where Bell gave his first public demonstration of the telephone on Feb. 12, 1877.)

Today, repairs of popular high-tech gadgets rather than citizen band, or CB, radios are what keep the store in business.

“We do a lot of repairs; it’s a big part of my business now,” said Linares, “anything from cellphones to iPads.” He can fix cracked screens on iPhones and iPads, for instance. Stores for national cellphone companies often send business his way when people come in with broken phones, Linares said.

“We will try to repair anything that is electronic,” he said. “We have fixed hot tub controls and air-conditioning units. We do a lot with car stereo, remote car starters, back-up cameras, anything to do with automobiles. We do all the installations as well.”

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