Archives On The Air

Archives on the Air takes listeners deep into the archives of the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center. The AHC collects and preserves primary sources and rare books from Wyoming, the Rocky Mountain Region, and select aspects of the American and global past. Voiced by the AHC's Birgit Burke (previously by Molly Marcuse), each new episode of Archives on the Air reveals a fascinating tidbit from the AHC's vast collection.

Archives On The Air 179: Writing A Woman's West—Burt Family Papers

Mar 10, 2020
American Heritage Center

Katharine Newlin Burt was an author of western novels, short stories, plays and poetry.

Although a native New Yorker, she was entranced with the West. She once said that "all her life she wanted to marry a man from the West."

American Heritage Center

Leona Wells came to Wyoming from Illinois in 1898 because she wanted the right to vote. Wyoming’s U.S. Senator Francis E. Warren hired her as a staffer. She became one of the very rare well-paid professional women on Capitol Hill.

Archives On The Air 177: SPEBSGSA—Laramie Chapter Records

Dec 19, 2019
American Heritage Center

Barbershop quartets are a form of a cappella music that started in the 1930s. In 1938 a nationwide group for Barbershop singers appeared. It was called the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America. Or if you prefer acronyms, SPEBSQSA.

Archives On The Air 176: Man Without A Star—Dee Linford Papers

Dec 18, 2019
American Heritage Center

Dee Linford grew up in Wyoming before he was drafted into the Marines in World War II. Linford was stationed in Japan.

Archives On The Air 175: Women In Industry—Wilma Soss Papers

Dec 16, 2019
American Heritage Center

Wilma Soss was a publisher, writer, and radio journalist in New York. In all of her work Soss advocated for women in industry and stockholding.

Archives On The Air 174: Hollywood's Other Characters—Jacques Kapralik Papers

Dec 11, 2019
American Heritage Center

Jacques Kapralik was a caricature artist for Hollywood.

He brought his talents to LA in the mid-193os and began making movie posters.

American Heritage Center

Foreign correspondents were the first to raise the alarm about Hitler's Germany. They witnessed the violence first hand. One of these reporters was Gregor Ziemer. While in Germany he interviewed Hitler and probed the Hitler Youth program.

Archives On The Air 172: Jurassic Conmen—Cathrine Curtis Corporation Records

Nov 21, 2019
American Heritage Center

Cathrine Curtis was an early film producer. She started the Cathrine Curtis Corporation in 1919.

Archives On The Air 170: The Montgomery Ward Seizure—Montgomery Ward Records

Nov 21, 2019
American Heritage Center

President Roosevelt was faced with labor strikes at home during World War II. The strikes delayed production for the war.

Archives On The Air 169: The Haunting Of The Centlivre Family—Centlivre Family Papers

Nov 18, 2019
American Heritage Center

The Centlivre family lived in the Midwest. In 1913 their daughter's spirit began communicating with them. The daughter died at age four. They called her spirit "J".

Archives On The Air 168: The Joy Girl—Olive Borden Papers

Nov 18, 2019
American Heritage Center

Olive Borden was a silent film star. Her film career started in 1922 in comedy shorts. She starred in the 1927 film The Joy Girl.

Archives On The Air 167: Jim Beckwourth—Toppan Rare Books Library

Nov 14, 2019
American Heritage Center

Jim Beckwourth was born into slavery. He came West around 1820.

Archives On The Air 166: Cartoon Composer—William Lava Papers

Nov 14, 2019
American Heritage Center

William Lava had no formal music training. He had a journalism degree. But the great depression kept him from breaking into the news.

Archives On The Air 165: Scouting Mount Everest—Betsy Cowles Partridge Papers

Nov 12, 2019
American Heritage Center

In 1950 Coloradoan Betsy Cowles Partridge was part of an attempt to find a path to the summit of Mount Everest.

Archives On The Air 164: "Please Keep Me In Your Dreams"—Tot Seymour Papers

Nov 12, 2019
American Heritage Center

In the early 1930s, Tot Seymour was writing lyrics for Hollywood movies. She teamed up with composer Vee Lawnhurst. They founded a company called Famous Music. Seymour and Lawnhurst touted themselves as "the first successful team of girl song writers in popular music history".

Archives On The Air 163: Wyoming Defends Women's Suffrage—Morton E. Post Family Papers

Jun 17, 2019

2020 marks one hundred years since the nineteenth amendment allowed women to vote in the U.S. But Wyoming women have had the right to vote for 50 years longer than the rest of the country.

Archives On The Air 162: King Of The Gag-Writers—David Freedman Papers

Jun 17, 2019

David Freedman was a Romanian-American comedy writer from the early days of radio. He was known as the king of the gag-writers. Freedman started in the Jewish Vaudeville scene and had shows on Broadway.

Archives On The Air 161: The Academic Witch Hunt—Clay Cochran Papers

Jun 17, 2019

In the 1950s McCarthyism looked for communists in the US. Academics were among those under suspicion.

Archives On The Air 160: Monster Suit Appendicitis—Forrest Ackerman Papers

May 24, 2019

Filming classic Japanese monster movies like Godzilla was often a grueling experience for the actors in the monster suits.

Archives On The Air 159: Wyoming's Railroad Age—James L. Ehernberger Western Railroad Collection

May 23, 2019

Railroads have been a vital part of Wyoming's commerce and culture.

For example, in the late 1800s a new railroad was built between Newcastle and Sheridan. People thought it would only be profitable for moving cows. But towns along the railroad grew as access became easier.

Archives On The Air 158: Toni vs. The Cosmetics Industry—Toni Stabile Papers

May 22, 2019

Investigative journalist Toni Stabile began looking into the cosmetics industry in the 1950s. She researched and wrote about issues in the cosmetics industry throughout her career.

Archives On The Air 157: Mr. Sardonicus—Ray Russell Papers

May 22, 2019

In 1961, fans of horror met Sardonicus in a short story in Playboy by Ray Russell. A movie version called Mr. Sardonicus came out soon after. Russell wrote the screenplay. It was directed by William Castle.

Archives On The Air 156: Greetings From Gebo!—Mileva Maravic Papers

May 22, 2019

In the early 1900s, the west had many small mining towns. One of these towns was Gebo, Wyoming. Gebo was well documented by former resident Mileva Maravic.

Maravic grew up in Gebo. She collected photos and memories from the town.

Archives On The Air 155: Americans React To Hollywood Blacklist—Miscellaneous Collections

May 17, 2019

In the 1940s and ‘50s the House Committee on Un-American Activities questioned 10 men from the film industry. They were accused of being communists. All 10 refused to testify and were jailed.

Archives On The Air 154: Sock It To Me—Dan Rowan Papers

May 16, 2019

Dan Rowan was a fighter pilot during World War II. When the war ended he went to Hollywood.

Rowan was working at a car dealership when he met comedy writer Dick Martin. The two became the comedy team Rowan & Martin. They toured night clubs and late night talk shows.

Archives On The Air 153: Escape From Bolivia—Gale McGee Papers

May 16, 2019

From 1978 to 1980 Bolivia was in crisis. There was a series of military governments and coups. U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States Gale McGee was in the middle of one of these coups in 1979.

In 1937 Denis J. Mulligan was chief investigator of the U.S. Bureau of Air Commerce. Also in 1937, the German-built Hindenburg caught fire and crashed over Manhattan. 36 people were killed. Mulligan was the lead American investigator. 

Public domain, from Wikimedia Commons.

Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil was one of the most notorious con men of the 20 th Century. He reportedly swindled 8 million dollars from his victims. 

Archives On The Air 150: Krebiozen—A. C. Ivy Papers

May 9, 2019

In 1946, Dr. A. C. Ivy wrote a code of ethics on human experimentation as part of the Nuremburg trials.

But, Ivy went on to violate ethics rules in his own work with the alleged cancer treatment Krebiozen. 

Al Christie created one of the first permanent film studios in Hollywood in 1911. His partner wanted their studio in Florida, but Al won a coin toss and they went to Hollywood.