Radio entertainers and announcers collection
Language of Materials
Photographs depicting popular radio performers during World War II, often engaged in war conservation efforts.
The photographs are organized alphabetically by entertainer, and then by subject. Entertainers with 3 or more photographs were assigned their own folder. A complete list of entertainers is available in the Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections.
Scope and Content Note
This collection features roughly 1, 500 publicity photographs of wartime radio personalities, including Fred Allen, Jack Benny, Edgar Bergen, and Abbott and Costello. The entertainers are often pictured promoting war conservation and recycling, or broadcasting from bases around the world. ABC, CBS, NBC, WOR-Mutual, and WEVD are among the networks represented. NBC "Helpmate" actors are pictured purchasing war bonds above their regular quotas; in the drive to sell war bonds, the actors bought bonds each time the Allies bombed Berlin. There is also a series of photographs showing radio employees picking up short wave communications at the "listening post," which were then transmitted to the News Room. Overall, this collection documents the impact not only of radio on troop morale but also of the war itself on home front entertainment.
Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit www.nyhistory.org/library/visit.
Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.
Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.
Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit: https://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions
This collection should be cited as The Radio Entertainers and Announcers Collection, PR 095, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.
Location of Materials
Gift of Thomas Calvin Linn, New York Times reporter, Dec. 16 1942 and Sep. 15 1943