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.

In 1978 an undercover cop was killed by the sheriff in Rock Springs.

The oil boom of the 70s brought seedy characters to Rock Springs.

In 1968, John Turner of Cheyenne wanted to expand his restaurant Taco House. He partnered with James Woodson and Harold Holmes to outfit a camper into a mobile restaurant that could feed visitors at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Most wedding invitations are sent by mail. But when Marvel Comics' star couple Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson got married in 1987, the invitations were sent via comic book.

Nowadays, we expect every airplane seat pocket to come with an in-flight magazine. But before 1934 airplane seat pockets were empty. Rose Benas is responsible for bringing the first in-flight magazines to the world.

Archives On The Air 104: Mountaineering The Wind River Range—Carl Blaurock Paper

Jan 31, 2019

In 1924, there were still mountain peaks in Wyoming that had not been climbed. Carl Blaurock from Denver took a party to climb the Wind River Range that same year.

Archives On The Air 103: Smokye Mouse—Craig Chandler Papers

Jan 30, 2019

Craig Chandler worked for the U.S. Forest Service in the 1970s. He was Director of Forest Fire & Atmospheric Research. He was known for his sense of humor around the office.

Archives On The Air 102: A Woman And Her Camera—Lora Webb Nichols Papers

Jan 30, 2019

Lora Webb Nichols loved her camera.

Lora was born in 1883. She grew up on a ranch outside Encampment, Wyoming. By the late 1890s, the area was in a copper boom.

Archives On The Air 101: A Pair Of Characters—Chic And Virginia Sale Papers

Jan 28, 2019

Chic and Virginia Sale were siblings. They were also both character actors in vaudeville and movies.

Archives On The Air 100: Dinosaur Hunters Of The Wild West—William Harlow Reed Papers

Jan 25, 2019

William Harlow Reed worked for the Union Pacific Railroad in Wyoming in the late 1800s.

Archives On The Air 99: How To Become A Werewolf—Forrest Ackerman Papers

Jan 24, 2019

Forrest Ackerman is the man who created the science fiction fan community. In 1953 he co-created the magazine "Famous Monsters of Filmland". It is still published today.

Archives On The Air 98: True Detective—William T. Brannon Papers

Jan 23, 2019

True crime author W.T. Brannon wrote objectively and honestly in the 60s and 70s. But magazines publishing true crime at the time mostly had sensationalist and exploitive stories. Many of the stories featured sex appeal and violence.

Archives On The Air 97: Ball's Lightning—Albert C. Ball Papers

Jan 22, 2019

In 1937, pilot Albert Ball flew a plane into a storm to test a theory on airplane radio interference.

Archives On The Air 96: Arrested For Sledding—Bill Manbo Papers

Jan 22, 2019

During World War II the U.S. government removed American citizens of Japanese descent from their communities and relocated them to internment camps across the country. One of these camps was Heart Mountain, near Cody, Wyoming.

Archives On The Air 95: Do Feed The Bears—The Arthur E. Demaray Papers

Jan 22, 2019

Arthur Demaray was a National Park Service Administrator who worked as the liaison with Congress. He worked for the park service from 1917 to 1951.

Archives On The Air 94: Death Row Correspondence—Jean "Babe" London Papers

Jan 17, 2019

Jean “Babe” London was a comedic film actress who acted in films with Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and others in the 20s and 30s.

Archives On The Air 93: Black Magic And Fascism—Toppan Rare Books Library

Jan 16, 2019

Within the Toppan Rare Books Library is a book called Black Magic.

Archives On The Air 92: Downtown Cheyenne—Verna Endicott Papers

Jan 15, 2019

Verna Endicott grew up in Cheyenne in the 1910s and 20s. Her diaries describe downtown Cheyenne as she experienced it. 

Archives On The Air 91: The Man Of A Thousand Experiences—Courtney Ryley Cooper Papers

Jan 14, 2019
Box 4, Courtney Riley Cooper papers

"A journalist, an actor, a clown, a crime expert, and an elephant tamer" may sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but this is actually the resume of one notable person: Courtney Ryley Cooper.

Archives On The Air 90: Foul-Ups, Bleeps And Blunders—The Bob Booker Papers

Nov 19, 2018
American Heritage Center

Bob Booker was a producer for a 1984 ABC show called Foul-Ups, Bleeps and Blunders. The show featured outtakes from tv shows and local news.

Archives On The Air 89: Papier-Mâché Presidents—The Stanley Glaubach Papers

Nov 19, 2018
American Heritage Center

Stanley Glaubach was a sculptor and visual artist who worked for prominent magazines in the 1960s. He was known for working with papier-mâché, models, found objects and bright colors.

Archives On The Air 88: Warm Night In A Cold Train—James L. Ehernberger Western Railroad Collection

Nov 19, 2018
American Heritage Center

Getting stuck in the middle of a trip is not fun. But imagine being a passenger on the number four train from Laramie to Cheyenne in 1883 when the snow stopped it dead—for twenty-two hours.

Archives On The Air 87: Wyoming, The 43rd State—The Downey Family Papers

Nov 19, 2018
American Heritage Center

Wyoming fought for many years to become a state.

Archives On The Air 86: "Last Week, On Batman"—The William Dozier Papers

Nov 19, 2018
American Heritage Center

That was William Dozier, Narrator and Executive Producer of the Batman TV show that ran from 1966-1968.

The 1960s version of Batman is famous for being campy and goofy. Even at the time it was criticized for taking the source material too lightly.

William Dozier’s papers at UW’s American Heritage Center contain scripts, photos, and other production documents from the Batman TV show.

Archives On The Air 85: The Banana Expert—Albert C. Ball Papers

Nov 14, 2018
American Heritage Center

During WWII Pilot Albert C. Ball once flew a group of academics to the south pacific where they trained US troops how to survive in the region.

Archives On The Air 84: The Secret Of Happiness—The Virginia Scully Papers

Nov 13, 2018
American Heritage Center

Virginia Scully was a journalist and nonfiction writer until the 1970s. Her papers contain an unpublished poem called “The Secret of Happiness.” 

Archives On The Air 83: Adrian Scott—Secret Screenwriter—Miscellaneous Collections

Nov 13, 2018
American Heritage Center

The Red Scare of the 1940s and 50s hit Hollywood hard.

Archives On The Air 82: Oatmeal And The Spanish-American War—The Richard H. Wilson Papers

Nov 12, 2018

Captain Richard H. Wilson was an American soldier during the Spanish-American war. He wrote a one-hundred-page manuscript about his experiences in Cuba.

Archives On The Air 81: Saratoga Is A Tourist Town—The Garrett Price Papers

Nov 12, 2018

Garrett Price was a cartoonist for the New Yorker and other publications in the early 20th century. He grew up in Saratoga, Wyoming. Price attended University of Wyoming from 1912-1914.

Archives On The Air 80: An American In China—Murray Coggeshall Diary

Nov 5, 2018
American Heritage Center

Around 1900 trade policies made it common for Americans to travel to China for business.

Archives On The Air 79: "Sci-Fi Was My High"—The Forrest Ackerman Collection

Nov 1, 2018
American Heritage Center

Forrest Ackerman is not a household name but he made a big impact in popular culture.