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.

Hal Baylor was born in 1918. He became a heavyweight boxing champ early in life.

Baylor was cast as a boxer in the 1949 Hollywood film The Set-Up.

Famed writer Jack London was born to a poor family in 1876. He grew up in San Francisco. In his youth London poached coastal oysters. He sold them to restaurants.

Alfred Lawson was a professional baseball player but he made his name by proposing America's first airline. In the great depression he left aviation for a different passion.

Lawson founded the Direct Credits Society.

Mademoiselle was "the magazine for smart young women." It was founded in 1935 and was written for college-educated women.

Editor Betsy Talbot Blackwell "pioneered in advancing the cause of American fashions through Mademoiselle at a time when Paris was the world fashion center…"

Edith Clements received her PhD in Botany from University of Nebraska in 1904. Her husband Frederic was also a botanist. The Clements spent many years traveling the US together doing research and teaching.

Edith was an illustrator. She drew plants for her own books and other publications.

University of Wyoming had strict rules in the women's dorms. Records from an early Dean of Women named Luella Galliver give us a glimpse.

In 1925 8-year-old Robert Bloch saw "The Phantom of the Opera". He was terrified when Lon Chaney removed his mask. That terror also sparked Bloch's interest in horror and sci-fi.

By the 1930s Bloch began writing to sci-fi author H.P. Lovecraft.

Lucille Ball is best known for her role in the TV show "I Love Lucy". The show is the height of 1950s nostalgia.

In a 1976 interview with Journalist Beverly Linet, Ball dismissed nostalgia:

Lucile Ball: nostalgia is something you still yearn for and want to happen again is that what you mean?

Beverly Linet: Yeah and also that you say 'oh do you remember that marvelous time when I was 24 and we did that or that happened'

Minnie and Merris Barrow were early Wyoming settlers.

The Barrows moved to Laramie in 1877. Merris worked for the Laramie Boomerang Newspaper until 1886. Then the Barrows launched their own paper, Bill Barlow's Budget. Merris was editor and Minnie was bookkeeper.

Writer Ernest Tidyman said he was a newspaper reporter by age 14 and an alcoholic by age 15. He later adapted his own book into the 1971 film Shaft.

Dorothy Strain Kaufman grew up near Laramie, WY on her family's ranch. She wrote a memoir that recounts her life and hijinks as a young girl on the prairie in the 1930s.

The kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh Jr. was the crime of the century. It was one of the first high profile cases to receive obsessive media attention.

Archives On The Air 110: Training Seeing Eye Dogs—Lambert Kreimer Papers

Feb 8, 2019

Lambert Kreimer was a German Captain in World War I. He trained Red Cross and messenger dogs.

Archives On The Air 109: Cyborgs On TV—Martin Caidin Papers

Feb 8, 2019

Martin Caidin was a sci-fi author and an aviation expert. He is best known for his 1972 novel Cyborg. It was the basis for the TV shows "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman."

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.