Streams

Directed by archivist Andy Lanset, the department provides a central repository for thousands of audio recordings, photographs, memorabilia, reports, news items, program guides, institutional records, and promotional materials.

Among its holdings are more than 50,000 recordings in a variety of formats, from early lacquer and acetate discs, to reel-to-reel tapes, to digital audio tapes and compact discs.

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Recently in Archives and Preservation

WNYC Broadcasts Tribute to Nikola Tesla

Friday, April 29, 2011

Nikola Tesla, the father of alternating current and one of the greatest inventors of all time, died on January 7, 1943 at the New Yorker Hotel. Three days later, WNYC broadcast this memorial to him.  The Croatian-born violinist Zlatko Baloković performed Ave Maria live in the studio, as well as a piece known to be a favorite of Tesla's, identified as Therefore Beyond the Hills is My Village, My Native Land.  Mayor F. H. La Guardia read a moving tribute to Tesla written by Slovenian-American author Louis Adamic. Announcer Joe Fishler concluded the program this way:

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Operation: Clean Up, 1952

Friday, April 22, 2011

In 1952, the New York Department of Public Works opened up the Owl's Head Pollution Control Plant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, one of three new plants designed to combat the massive pollution running in and around the city's public shores. But as this dramatization points out residents were conflicted about the impact the plant would have on their communities.

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Artist and architect A.G. Lorimer Captures WNYC's Old Transmitter Site From Two Perspectives.

Friday, April 15, 2011

In 1937, WNYC opened a new transmitter site in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Flanked by two 304-foot towers, the site featured massive, illuminated WNYC call letters and a north symbol so that planes flying overhead on a clear night could easily get their bearings. WNYC-AM left the site in 1990, and the towers came down about 10 years later. The 10 Kent Street site is now a project of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which is in the process of creating WNYC Transmitter Park.

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Books are Basic, 1952

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This week we celebrate National Library Week, an event close to the hearts of Annotations’ archivists. Since we're both graduates of library school and avid readers, delving into the collection for some library-related audio was a no-brainer for us. The only difficulty came in choosing which instance of library radio to select. From a World War II-era discussion of book burning in Germany to public library dedications through all five boroughs, libraries play a notable role in the historic WNYC collection.

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The Federal WPA Music Project is a Major Presence at WNYC

Friday, April 08, 2011

A lot of people think Mayor La Guardia saved WNYC, but it was really the Federal WPA.
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Radio for Children

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WNYC

Our five-year old at home loves The Singing Lady, WNYC's program of tales and music for children from before her parents were born.

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Headlines in Chemistry, 1948

Monday, March 28, 2011

“Headlines in Chemistry” premiered on WNYC in 1947. Produced in cooperation with the American Chemical Society’s News Service, the show aimed to "present a program of interest to the lay public on the latest scientific developments in the chemical fields." Within four years the show was carried on about 80 stations nationwide [1], and by 1952 it was "beamed overseas in 42 languages [2].”

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Isaac Brimberg: The Broadcast Pioneer Who Made It All Work

Friday, March 25, 2011

WNYC's Chief Engineer Isaac Brimberg, from a 1930s photo. Brimberg was a pioneer in radio broadcasting. He joined WNYC at its opening in 1924 and was named Chief Engineer in 1929.  He oversaw the WPA construction of our new studios and our state-of-the-art transmission facilities at Greenpoint, Brooklyn--both opening in October 1937.  Brimberg was also responsible for setting up our shortwave facility W2XVP in 1941 and our experimental FM station W39NY, now WNYC-FM.  Major Isaac Brimberg was in the Army Signal Corps in 1943 when he died tragically on leave in a car accident at the age of 40. 

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WNYC WWII broadcasts at the National Library of Norway

Friday, March 18, 2011

WNYC aids in the struggle against the Nazi occupation of Norway.
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Freedom's Ladder: WNYC and New York's Anti-Discrimination Law

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On March 12, 1945, when Governor Thomas E. Dewey signed in to law the Ives-Quinn Anti-Discrimination Bill, New York became the first state to enact legislation curtailing the practice of discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of race, religion, or creed.

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Archives Mixtape: Please No Squeeze the Banana, 1946

Friday, March 11, 2011

Undoubtedly readers of the Annotations blog have been waiting with bated breath for the next installment of the Archives Mixtape, and we are happy to oblige with a double feature!

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Communist Propaganda or Capitalist Commercial? A 1930s WNYC Broadcast is Mired in Controversy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Moscow's Park of Culture and Rest was one of the topics in a controversial series of travelogues aired by WNYC in late 1937 and early 1938. Critics of the station charged the broadcasts were Soviet propaganda meant to gloss over the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin.

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WNYC Covers Howard Hughes After He Circles the Globe in Record Time!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Howard Hughes wades through a scrum of reporters at Floyd Bennett Field, July 14, 1938. Hughes and his four-man crew had just returned to New York after circumnavigating the globe and covering 14,672 miles in a record-setting three days, 19 hours, 14 minutes and 10 seconds.

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The New York Public Radio Archives Loses An Old Friend

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hom Hong Wei (1915-2011) at his WNYC engineering shop workbench in the early 1940s.

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WNYC's First Music Director is a Pioneer in the Broadcast of Classical Music

Friday, February 18, 2011

APM

WNYC's first Music Supervisor (Music Director) Herman Neuman was a an accomplished conductor and composer and oversaw the department from its beginning in 1924 to 1967. He continued to do his regular "world" music program (classical), Hands Across the Sea into the 1970s.

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The Father of FM Broadcasting is Heard Over WNYC 63 Years Ago Today!

Friday, February 11, 2011

In a rare appearance behind the microphone, Major Edwin H. Armstrong, the inventor of frequency modulation (FM) broadcasting, addressed the WNYC audience 63 years ago today. The occasion was the launch of WNYC's new FM transmitter.

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WNYC Broadcasts D-Day Rally

Friday, February 04, 2011

Belgian-born soprano Lily Djanel sings the French national anthem “La Marseillaise” to a crowd of 50,000 on June 6, 1944. The D-Day rally broadcast by WNYC was presided over by Mayor La Guardia.  

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The Earliest Identifiable WNYC Recording: Lindbergh at City Hall in June, 1927

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Col. Charles A. Lindbergh receives a medal of valor from New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker, June 13, 1927. The aviator stood in front of the WNYC and network microphones, having just garnered tributes in Washington, D.C. for his historic non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic. 

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Soups with "How Does Your Kitchen Fare" 1946

Friday, January 21, 2011

During the fall of 1946, the American Women's Voluntary Services produced a program for WNYC titled “How Does Your Kitchen Fare,” aimed at helping housewives to make nourishing and economical meals, despite post-war food shortages.  The AWVS, founded by Alice Throckmorton McLean, was modeled after the British Women's Voluntary Services. During the war years the organization aided the war effort by sewing garments for servicemen, the members were also trained in "first aid, air raid and war gas work, home nursing and evacuation procedures." (The New York Times, Oct 20, 1940)

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WNYC Broadcasts From One of the First Anti-Nazi Rallies Held in the U.S.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dr. John Haynes Holmes addressed tens of thousands at an anti-Nazi rally in Battery Park on May 10, 1933, broadcast over WNYC. The Pastor of the Community Church recalled his earlier protests of the pogroms against the Jews in Czarist Russia and said, Hitler was "more cruel than the Czar."

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