Radio at War 1943
|Why It's Interesting|
This booklet from station WGR-WKBW, Buffalo, NY, preserves enormous amounts of information about the programming in wartime on CBS and how the network and its stations contributed to the war effort, and to keeping Americans informed both about how the War was going and why we were fighting. War-based shows included Orson Welles paying tribute to “our flying heroes;” Rex Stout [who wrote the Nero Wolfe mysteries] blasting Nazi propaganda on “Our Secret Weapon”; and Edward R. Murrow broadcasting from Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-on-Avon. The newest program was “Women’s Army,” which helped recruit WAACs. Some shows beamed strictly to the armed forces included: “Keep ‘em Flying” and “Cheers from the Camps.” “Command Performance” featured acts requested by service personnel. Those featured here included: Jack Benny and Jascha Heifitz together as the world’s; best and worst violin players, and “General” Jimmy Durante.
This book has so much more than I cannot even begin to describe.
This website seeks to encourage researchers and collectors to discover and study obscure ephemera that document American culture and life. Worldcat reveals that most of the items that I post cannot be found in more than a few research libraries–often none at all. Alternately, research libraries do not bother to catalog ephemeral publications like these. I believe, however, that because these were distributed free, or at nominal cost, to consumers, they were the publications most likely to make their way into homes and be read by large numbers of Americans.
I acquire pre-1960 examples of the kinds of publications that prove so useful when scholars study 19th-Century America. The limited competition that I encounter for them suggests that libraries, which could easily outbid me, have little interest in post-Civil War and 20th-century ephemeral publications in general.
I try to anticipate what materials future historians will find useful. Being an historian first and a collector second, I organized this website to encourage others to do this too—even if this means new competition for me. I am aware that I could be wrong in prizing particular ephemera or even whole classes of ephemera. I may even be wrong to encourage scholars to study obscure ephemeral publications; these may be obscure for good reason.
Ephemerastudies.org will permit me to share with others the information and imagery that I am acquiring, and to benefit from the knowledge, intelligence and experience of other scholars and collectors. Please contact me with your impressions of the site.