We often think of subscription radio as a fairly new idea. But back in the 1940s, one company was trying to make ad-free subscription radio a reality. How would they make sure people paid? By protecting their broadcast from freeloaders with shrieking cat noises. [more]
Special Collections in Mass Media & Culture at the University of Maryland holds a wide-ranging collection of resources documenting the history of radio and television broadcasting. Important collections here include the National Public Broadcasting Archives (NPBA) and the Library of American Broadcasting (LAB).
With our Tumblr blog, we like to share items from our archives as well as the many wonderful related posts we find here and elsewhere on the Internet. Beyond radio and television, our interests have expanded in recent years to include all the various technologies that have led up to the smart phone and/or tablet we all carry with us now — telephones, cameras, computers, recorded sound, etc.
"From 1940 to 1958 on radio, [and] from 1959 to 1968 on television, The Bell Telephone Hour offered classical music and musical theater performances. AT&T’s film Rehearsal (ca. 1947) simulates the program’s rehearsal process for a live radio performance of excerpts from operas such as Don Giovanni by the Bell Telephone Orchestra and guest singers…
"In the middle of the Rehearsal (at about 15:50) an announcer explains how AT&T has improved on long distance communication through a short history, beginning with bonfires on hilltops, proceeding to audion tubes and radio relays, and culminating in a couple’s earnest long distance phone call. Cultural uplift and technological progress dovetail so beautifully we may forget about the corporation’s monopoly profits.”
"NBC Chimes," in-house publication, July 1954. Includes catalog pages for ordering NBC promotional merchandise. [more]
From the Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation website. Great site — check it out!