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Audio clip from interview with Henry Kronberg on April 13, 2015

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In this clip, Henry Kronberg discusses acquiring Stoney's, a pawn shop on First Street, in 1964. When he arrived in Las Vegas in 1962, he worked with his brother-in-law at Pioneer Loan, then purchased Stoney's, which he grew into the most successful pawnshop in town. He discusses his business partner Dave Pearlmutter, and his international customers.

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Henry Kronberg oral history interview, 2015 February 26. OH-02280. [Audio recording]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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We'll start with Stoney's, with the business in Las Vegas and where you thrived. You came here in 1962 and then you told me you purchased Stoney's in 1964. Originally, I came to Las Vegas because my sister lived here. And my brother in law was in a pawn shop business. He had a pawn shop right next to the Las Vegas Club on Fremont Street. It was a big, big place. He sold me a share of his business. At that time we were open from eight in the morning until twelve o'clock at night because Fremont Street was the place in '60s. The Strip was only about four or five hotels, but it was not as busy. All the tourists congregated on Fremont Street. That was the heart of Las Vegas was the Fremont Street. There was traffic going. Now the street is closed, but at that time it was traffic. That was a very, very busy street. We used to keep our store open from eight in the morning until twelve o'clock at night and we were doing business until twelve o'clock at night. That's how busy that place was. What businesses were you located next to? There was Las Vegas Club and next door to us was a bar. Across the street was a bar; it was a bar and a restaurant. And on the corner was a slot place. In fact, the slot place still exists. We were between Main Street and First Street. So that was the first block. On the corner was...And across the street from us was the Pioneer Club, which the sign every five minutes or every three minutes, he says, "Howdy, partner; howdy, partner." And that used to drive us crazy. [Laughing] Finally, they stopped the recording. Every three minutes or every..."Howdy, partner; howdy, partner." And the sign is still there. I don't know if you remember or not. Yes. The sign is still there. So he used to move his arm and say, "Howdy, partner." And just like I said that drove us crazy. I was with my brother in law for almost two years, since '62 through '64. Late in '64, a fellow I met and I decided to leave my brother in law. I wanted to be on my own. My brother in law used to own, Pioneer Loan. Stoney's was around the corner on First Street. At that time Stoney's was owned by somebody else. After I decide to leave my brother in law?that's why I left my brother in law because I found out that Stoney's is out for sale. A fellow, which I met, he was interested in going in as partner with me and that's how we bought Stoney's Pawn Shop. Him and I, we bought the store. And who is your partner? His name was Dave Pearlmuter. He passed on a long time ago. He was originally from Portland, Oregon. So him and I?at that time we were both real young?started working and we were working day and night and we made it a success. And two years later we bought out my brother in law. So we used to own two stores; we used to own Stoney's and we bought out Pioneer Loan, too. So he was running Pioneer Loan and I was running Stoney's. We were partners; we both owned the business. We were partners, I think, for five or six years and then we decided to split. So he stayed with Pioneer Loan and I stayed with Stoney's. He wasn't as hard worker as I was, so I made a better success in the business than he did. Now, the rest is history. So who were your customers? Where did the customers come from? I got customers...Just like I say, downtown years ago used to be the heart of Las Vegas. Well, once they started opening up the hotels and casinos, the main business moved to the Strip. But in '60s and '70s and even early '80s, downtown was still the place to come because it was centrally located and it was not as spread out as the Strip. So tourists used to go to hotels on the Strip, [but] they still were interested in old Las Vegas because downtown was the old Las Vegas. So they used to come and, naturally, they used to shop. So we had customers from all over the world, not United States only. I say from all over the world. So there was a very interesting business because almost every single day you dealt with the different people and very interesting people. And because I had the oldest pawn shop in Las Vegas, we used to have a lot of antiques. And so people were always looking for something different, antiques and something that catches your eye. I used to collect those things.