NYPR Archives & Preservation
June 14, 2013 - Volume 12  Issue 24
Edition # 562


1935: A chorus of 1,000 New York City school children perform at the Sons of the American Revolution Flag Day exercises at City Hall Park.
    WNYC: Champion of Oral Prophylaxis

Oral hygiene has been a major part of WNYC's commitment to public service and public health over the years. (WNYC Archive Collections)


WNYC, Pioneer of the American Radio Documentary

"WNYC Marches On. Atop the Municipal Building in Manhattan where the city station is housed, you will discover two bright young men, Richard Pack and Nathan Berlin, at work on a comparatively new and worthwhile idea in radio --'documentary radio' they call it.  The lads are preparing a series of on-the-spot broadcasts 'involving the use of a mobile recording-unit and the editing and cutting methods of the movies.' The city station is sponsoring this series, according to Messrs. Pack and Berlin, for the express purpose of presenting an authentic radio picture of various municipal departments and agencies--a kind of living history of the City of New York at work.

"During the past week the producers and the city station's engineers have spent a considerable amount of time and energy in a neighborhood health center in Manhattan, where they sought to obtain the spirit of the establishment for broadcasting purposes.  Engineers, guided by Pack and Berlin, carried the recording equipment from room to room. They picked up the activities in the tuberculosis clinic, dental clinic, visiting nurses office, venereal disease bureau, health education office, etc...

"Other city spots to be covered in this documentary series are the police training school, municipal market in the early hours of the morning, the students at the Fire College, the Independent Subway System, the municipal incinerator, the Aquarium and the High School of Music and Art.  The first broadcast will probably be aired over the city station the latter part of next month and every week thereafter. 

"Pack and Berlin say they got their idea for this city series by observing how the British Broadcasting Corporation was using recording equipment to make radio 'studies' of mines, factories, neighborhoods, street scenes, etc., and several months ago a group of French broadcasters equipped with recording apparatus, made a tour of these United States, 'sitting in' on Americans at work and play..."

Excerpts from Jo Ransom's daily column "Dial Log,"  in The Brooklyn Eagle, January 28, 1939, p. 18.

NSA? Let's go back to wiretapping in the 1950s on this edition of WNYC's Campus Press Conference.

WNYC First day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924. 
Municipal Archives Collection.

American Mavericks From the Archives on Q2

From the 50th Anniversary Album, 1942-1945
"Bennett Cerf, a young man from the world of publishing, became a broadcaster for the first time with a WQXR program called "Books Are Bullets," in which he interviewed well-known authors. He eventually became better-known than many of them, but he brought people like Quentin Reynolds, Bob Hope and Hendrik Van Loon to the WQXR microphones. During those same years, a British journalist named Alistair Cooke began his career as radio personality with a WQXR series on the Broadway theater and American film…

Though there was plenty to talk about in these years, WQXR gave its listeners more music and more features about music than ever before. With Abram Chasins, a distinguished pianist and composer, as music advisor, artists such as Fritz Kreisler, Vladimir Horowitz, Artur Rubinstein and Mischa Elman began appearing before WQXR microphones…"

Source: WQXR At 50: An Anniversary Album, "1942-1945," The New York Times Co., 1986, pg. 7-8.

News & Notices:

The WNYC Facebook page has a station timeline (1922-present) with more than 588 milestones, photos, and links to audio. (Right hand column)

We're also working on the WQXR Facebook timeline. (1929 - present)

Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 423 followers.

The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 890 followers. Sign on to the feed @WNYCArchives.

We’ve got a Tumblr page too! Check it out at:
WNYC Archives in the…
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