Topics in the News
Advertising and Public Relations
The 1920s brought a boom in advertising as postwar consumerism and the cult of salesmanship coincided. Existing ad agencies expanded, and new agencies (Young 6c Rubicam, Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample, and Benton & Bowles) were founded. J. Walter Thompson's agency's billings went from $10.7 million in 1922 to $37.5 million in 1929. Albert Lasker, the head of Lord & Thomas, worked with George Washington Hill of the American Tobacco Company (Lucky Strike) to increase that company's earnings from $12 million in 1926 to $40 million in 1930.
Most advertising still appeared in print during the 1920s, and ad revenue promoted the growth of the mass-circulation magazines, called slicks because they were printed on paper that would reproduce quality ad art. Cigarette advertising produced a war among Lucky Strike, Camel, and Chesterfield. The untapped market was women; before the 1920s no respectable woman smoked in public. Lucky Strike urged women to "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet," and the young woman in the famous 1926 Chesterfield ad asked her male companion to "Blow some my way." It was an era of slogans and heretofore-unsuspected maladies: Woodbury Facial Soap "For the skin you love to touch"; Palmolive to "Keep that schoolgirl complexion"; Lifebuoy to prevent "B.O."; Listerine to cure halitosis because "Even Your...
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A Book a Month.
Mass-media and mass-marketing stimulated each other during the 1920s. The most successful publishing development was distribution through book clubs. At the start of the decade most Americans did not have access to bookstores. Many potential members of the emerging reading public did not know what to read or how to obtain books. The founding of the Book-of-the-Month Club (BOMC) by Robert K. Haas and Harry Scherman filled a well-defined need.
The monthly selections were chosen by a panel of judges—critic Henry Seidel Canby, columnist Heywood Broun, author Dorothy Canfield Fisher, man-of-letters Christopher Morley, and newspaper publisher William Allen White—who exercised complete freedom to pick any current book that was not priced more than three dollars. The first selection, distributed in April 1926, established the integrity of the judges: Sylvia Townsend Warner's Lolly Willowes: or, the Loving Huntsman, an English feminist fantasy that was hardly a crowd pleaser, went to 4,750 members. Subsequent 1926 selections positioned the BOMC as upper middlebrow. In certain social groups membership in the BOMC was regarded as a badge of intelligence; in others, of pretentiousness; in still others, of intellectual conformity.
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Movie-fan and movie-romance magazines flourished during the 1920s. These were overlapping categories; both covered the Hollywood scene, but the content of the movie-romance publications stressed the marital adventures and romantic attachments of Hollywood, much of it invented. Among the many magazines in this field were Screenland (1920), Screen Play (1925), Screenbook (1928), Screen Stories (1929), and Screen Romances (1929).
Health faddist Bernarr Macfadden (1868-1955), who had become wealthy from his magazine Physical Culture, introduced what became known as the confession magazine with True Story in 1919. It reached a weekly circulation of more than 2 million. The success of this magazine was attributed in large part to its sexual frankness. However, True Story was not salacious or intended to arouse erotic feelings; Macfadden treated sexual problems in a quasi-clinical way. True Story inspired imitations, including Macfadden's True Romances (1923) and True Experiences (1925). Fawcett Publications had a success in 1922 with True Confessions, which began as a crime magazine but converted to women's romantic experiences. Having discovered that the word true sold copies, Macfadden introduced the first quasi-factual detective...
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Art vs. Money.
Because printing costs were still relatively low in America—and very cheap in Europe—many so-called "little magazines" sprang up during the 1920s. The term "little" did not refer to format but to circulation. The standard work, The Little Magazine: A History and a Bibliography, states that "A little magazine is a magazine designed to print artistic work which for reasons of commercial expediency is not acceptable to the money-minded periodicals or presses." Virtually all little magazines existed for the purpose of publishing avantgarde or experimental writing, often by their editors. A writer is not a writer unless he or she is published some-where, somehow. The little magazines provided a place for writers—typically younger writers—to break in. Ezra Pound was the most important figure involved with the little magazines as editor or adviser during the 1920s. Nearly all of these magazines had a short life span as the editors ran out of money or lost interest.
The regional literary magazines resembled the little magazines in publishing material that could not find a commercial market, but the regionals were less experimental. Some of these were Frontier (University of Montana, 1920), The Southwest Review (Southern Methodist University, 1924; previously The Texas...
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Stop the Presses!
During the 1920s, now-legendary writers worked on papers that aggressively competed for news and readers. The Front Page, the 1928 hit play by exreporters Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht, established the public's idea of how newspapers operated. In 1920 there were 2,042 English-language dailies in 1,295 American cities; their total circulation was 27.8 million. Americans habitually read newspapers, which cost two cents; many households took morning and evening papers. Most cities had papers with different ownerships and editorial policies—usually, Republican and Democrat.
The most influential innovation in Jazz Age journalism was the successful introduction of tabloid or sensationalized journalism by Joseph Medill Patterson's The New York Daily News in 1919. It was followed by William Randolph Hearst's The New York Daily Mirror and Bernarr Macfadden's New York Evening Graphic in 1924. There were also nonsensational tabloids that used the tab size for the sake of convenience. The Graphic, the most blatantly vulgar of the tabloids, was inevitably known as the "Porno-Graphic." It ignored most national or world events to concentrate on the coverage of sex and crime—preferably sex crime. Two of the crimes that sold tabloid papers were the 1922 Hall-Mills case (an unsolved...
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The first newsreel produced in America was the Pathé Weekly, commencing in 1911. Audiences at first-run movie theaters soon came to expect silent newsreels, especially during World War I.
There were experimental sound newsreels with synchronized recordings, but the talkie newsreel was not practical until Theodore Case developed his soundon-film system. The Fox Film Corporation purchased Case's system in 1926 and established the Fox Movietone Corporation, The first Fox Movietone News release showed Charles Lindbergh's takeoff on 20 May 1927. Combined with footage of the Washington ceremonies welcoming Lindbergh, it was exhibited as a special feature five months before the premiere of The Jazz Singer. The first all-sound Movietone newsreel was shown at the New York Roxy Theatre on 28 October 1927; it included segments on Niagara Falls, "The Romance of the Iron Horse," the Army-Yale football game, and a rodeo. On 3 December Movietone News was released as a regular weekly feature; this newsreel covered the Vatican Choir at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the blowing of the Conowingo Bridge in Maryland, and the Army-Navy football game.
The great success of Movietone News compelled the other movie studios to produce competing...
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Sales of phonographs and records decreased during the early years of the 1920s after reaching a peak in 1920. The chief cause of the decline was the radio craze, but the poor sound quality of the recordings and the phonographs impeded the growth of the industry. The recordings were made by the acoustical or mechanical system, which did not use amplifiers or micro-phones. These records did not reproduce the overtones of the sound, and the players used a large horn to magnify the sound. The result was scratchy and failed to provide a realistic sound reproduction. Most phonographs had to be hand-cranked every three or four records. In 1925 the wind-up cabinet-model Victrolas were priced from $110 to $250.
The industry was stimulated by the development in 1925 of an electrical recording process by Western Electric Company, which also developed the all-electric Orthophonic phonograph with a loudspeaker. Victor, the largest record-phonograph manufacturer, was the first to bring out electrical recordings for the Orthophonic Victrola. Sales increased steadily until 65 million records were sold in 1929, almost half of which were from Victor.
Even at their best, records in the 1920s were fragile, short-lived, inconvenient, and relatively expensive. The...
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Writers require publication, and publishers need books. The 1920s were a golden era for American writing and publishing. During the decade twenty influential trade publishing houses and seven university presses were launched. (An influential publisher is one that publishes significant authors and widely read books, good or bad; the longevity of the imprint is also a factor in its influence.) More enduring major American houses were founded during the 1920s than in any other decade.
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The terms "pulp magazine" and "dime novel" have become interchangeable, but the two types of magazines had separate histories. The dime novels were paper-covered thin books that resembled magazines and usually had one long story. They became popular during the Civil War, and the contents were mostly adventure or western stories. Ned Buntline's Buffalo Bill stories were widely read in this format. Publisher Frank Munsey created the first pulp magazine, Argosy, in 1896: a 7" x 10" collection of fiction, printed on wood-pulp paper. Later, pulps featured lurid or exciting covers. Each issue included stories and novelettes; some pulps serialized novels. Most sold for ten cents or fifteen cents. Not all magazines printed on pulp paper were regarded as pulp magazines; the term also indicated content or editorial rationale. The authentic pulps were almost always restricted to a particular subject or setting (the West, sports, crime, aviation) and intended for an unsophisticated readership. Thus, The Smart Set, which H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan took over writing in 1914, was printed on pulp paper but was not classified as a pulp because it was a journal of opinion and literature with high editorial standards. However, Mencken and Nathan launched three pulps—Parisienne (1915), Saucy Stories (1916), and Black Mask (1920)—for the purpose...
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Radios were first marketed for home use in 1920; 5 million were sold annually by 1929. The leading brands were RCA, Atwater Kent, and Crosley—all of which were battery-powered. The batteries were expensive, heavy, and inconvenient. RCA's Radiola was the most widely advertised make; the basic model with earphones, but not loudspeaker, sold for thirty-five dollars (batteries and antenna extra) in 1924. The price range for better models was $150 to $350.
Broadcasting began for the purpose of selling radio receivers. Before the later years of the 1920s, radio programming was unimaginative, offering mainly speeches, lectures, and music. The fact of radio was still so remarkable that people would listen to anything just for the sake of hearing sound coming out of the box—just as in 1947 people would watch anything on television, and still do. There were such radio-broadcast anomalies as bridge and basket-weaving lessons. In 1925 more than 70 percent of air time was given over to music, .1 percent to drama, .7 percent to news, and .2 percent to sports. Every week the stations broadcast speeches from meetings of civic and professional organizations, such as The Commercial Law League of America, The Foreign Policy Association, The Pennsylvania Society, The Woodrow Wilson Foundation, The Government Club, and The...
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The Reader's Digest
The digest magazine was introduced in the 1920s; the term digest applied to both the format (5" X 7½) and the editorial policy. The first and only enduring digest magazine—which gave its name to the category—was The Readers Digest, founded by newlyweds DeWitt and Lila Wallace in 1922. DeWitt Wallace condensed articles published in other magazines to provide a monthly selection of "enduring value" cut for people who did not have time to read many magazines or long articles; there was no fiction. Because there were no ads, the price of twenty-five cents (three dollars per year) was high at a time when most magazines cost ten cents or fifteen cents. The no-ad policy held until 1955. The first issue, dated February 1922, went to 1,500 subscribers. By 1929 there were 216,000 subscribers, and The Reader's Digest, which ultimately reached a world circulation of more than 30 million, was on its way to becoming the most successful magazine in history. From the start The Reader's Digest had critics who charged that it was cheerfully lowbrow and oversimplified complex ideas. Nonetheless, the editorial formula worked: readership extended to 163 countries with editions in sixteen languages. The digest concept was widely imitated, but none of the imitations succeeded.
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Broun, Heywood 1888-1939
In an era of brilliant newspapermen, some of whom acquired national reputations and legendary status, Heywood Broun was probably the columnist most respected by his readers and colleagues. Broun was born into a well-off Brooklyn family and attended Harvard as a member of the class of 1910. The extracurricular pleasures of the poker table and the Red Sox and an inability to pass French prevented him from graduating. He went to work as a reporter—at that time the normal move for someone with literary ambition. In 1912 he began covering sports for the New York Tribune, and his articles were admired for their detail and vivid description. After going to France as a correspondent during World War I—where he criticized the American leadership—he returned to the Tribune as drama critic and literary editor.
"It Seems to Me."
Broun's national fame and influence commenced in 1921 with his daily column, "It Seems to Me," on the op-ed page of The New York World. As its title indicated, Broun's column had no controlling subject; he often wrote what were identified as "whimsy" pieces, such as "The Fifty-First Dragon," which has been widely reprinted. A large man who was described as looking "like an unmade bed," Broun was a member of the Algonquin Hotel Round Table group of...
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Cerf, Bennett A. and Klopfer, Donald S. 1898-1971, 1902-1986
Extrovert Bennett Cerf and quiet Donald Klopfer built Random House into the best of the publishing houses founded during the 1920s. It became a commercially successful firm with a commitment to literature and a list of distinguished authors.
The Modern Library.
In 1925 twenty-seven-year-old Cerf, a Columbia University graduate, had the title of vice president at the publishing house of Boni & Liveright, having acquired that position by lending money to Horace Liveright. Always in need of money, Liveright offered to sell the Modern Library series to Cerf for $215,000. It was a splendid opportunity because the Modern Library, a list of more than one hundred clothbound ninety-five-cent reprints of classics, sold widely with little attention from Liveright. Cerf's family was prosperous, but he could not raise the purchase price alone. He asked his twenty-three-year-old friend Klopfer to put up half. Klopfer, who had attended Williams College, was working for his family's diamond-cutting business and had no publishing experience. They refurbished the drab Modern Library volumes, added new titles, and aggressively promoted the series. In 1931 they launched the Modern Library Giants series—six-hundred-page volumes that sold for one dollar. The first Giants title was Leo Tolstoy's War and...
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Correll, Charles and Gosden, Freeman 1890-1972, 1899-1982
Blackface and Blackvoice.
Two white men, Charles Correll and Freeman Gosden, wrote and performed Amos 'n' Andy, a radio program about black characters that was the first radio serial and the most popular program of its time. Correll (born in Peoria, Illinois) and Gosden (born in Richmond, Virginia) had both been vaudeville song-and-chatter performers when they became friends in 1920, as the result of working for the Joe Bren Producing Company of Chicago, which produced minstrel shows. In 1925 they began singing and telling jokes in radio stations. Their breakthrough came in January 1926, when they began nightly ten-minute WGN broadcasts about Sam V Henry, two Southern black men who had moved to Chicago. Described as a "radio comic strip," Sam V Henry was the first radio program with a continuing story line; previously, every broadcast was expected to complete the narrative.
Amos 'n' Andy.
The program was a success from the start, and in 1928 WMAQ Chicago hired them away, but WGN retained rights to the Sam 'n' Henry characters. Correli and Gosden created Amos Jones and Andrew H. Brown, two residents of Harlem. Amos, performed by Gosden, was hard-working; Andy, performed by Correli, was lazy but likable. They were partners in the Fresh Air Taxi Company, so named...
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Liveright, Horace 1886-1933
Jazz Age Publisher.
Horace Liveright was another of the flamboyant figures whose careers are inseparable from the 1920s. His style of success and his spectacular failure are emblematic of the decade. As head of Boni & Liveright he published an exciting list of books while hosting a perpetual party and spending himself into insolvency.
Boni & Liveright.
Liveright did not bother to complete high school. At sixteen he was working for a stock-brokerage office, and at eighteen he wrote the libretto and lyrics for an unproduced operetta. In 1917, after a series of unsuccessful business ventures, he was staked to a publishing partnership with Albert Boni by his wealthy father-in-law. Liveright had no publishing experience, but he had read widely and admired writers. The first Boni & Liveright project, the Modern Library, became the best-known American series of inexpensive classic reprints. Bound in so-called limp leather and priced at sixty cents, the first twelve volumes were Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, August Strindberg's Married, Rudyard Kipling's Soldiers Three, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, H. G. Wells's The War in the Air, Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Anatole France's The Red Lily, Guy de Maupassant's Mile....
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Lorimer, George Horace 1867-1937
The Great American Magazine.
During the 1920s The Saturday Evening Post was the most successful magazine in America, perhaps in the world. It reached a peak circulation of 3 million; for a nickel its readers bought two hundred pages with fiction and articles by the most popular and best-paid writers. The man responsible was George Horace Lorimer, a devout proponent of the gospel of business and a good judge of writing.
Lorimer lived the American success story. The son of a Baptist minister, he dropped out of Yale after one year at the urging of Philip D. Armour, head of the meatpacking firm, and rose to head of the Armour canning department. After his own grocery business failed, Lorimer became a reporter. In 1898 he was hired as literary editor of The Saturday Evening Post, published by Cyrus H. K. Curtis, owner of The Ladies' Home Journal. The Post was moribund, its chief asset a shaky claim to having been founded by Benjamin Franklin. Lorimer was assigned to edit the magazine while Curtis was recruiting an editor in chief. Lorimer did it so well that he was made editor in chief, a position he held for thirty-nine years. For more than twenty years Lorimer's Post had a significant influence in shaping American values and American taste through its...
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Luce, Henry R. and Hadden, Briton 1898-1967, 1898-1929
Henry Luce and Briton Hadden invented the newsmagazine when they launched Time in 1923. Their magazine developed innovative approaches to news coverage, such as packaging the news in topical units; utilizing group journalism, by which an article resulted from the work of teams of researchers, reporters, writers, and editors; and replacing standard newspaper prose with a catchy narrative style.
Luce was born in China to Presbyterian missionaries and retained a missionary zeal in his approach to publishing. At fifteen he came to America and attended the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. At Hotchkiss he encountered Briton Hadden, the Brooklyn-born offspring of a well-connected family. Luce edited the school literary magazine and was assistant managing editor of the newspaper; Hadden was managing editor of the paper, They went to Yale, where...
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Mencken, H. L. 1880-1956
CRITIC & EDITOR
During the 1920s few Americans matched Henry L. Mencken's influence as a writer and as an independent thinker. He was the decade's great debunker, aiming ridicule at the cowardice and ignorance of what he called the "booboisee."
Anti-Christ." Mencken graduated from the Baltimore Polytechnic School and became a reporter on the Baltimore Herald in 1899. He moved to the Baltimore Sun in 1906, and was associated with the Sunpapers as editor, correspondent, and columnist ("The Free Lance") for the rest of his working life. The force of Mencken's mind and the breadth of his learning enabled him to combine journalism with simultaneous careers as magazine editor, philologist, and literary-social critic. As editor of The Smart Set and The American Mercury, as well as a prolific contributor to other journals, Mencken had a strong influence on American iconoclasm during the 1920s. He denounced puritanism, censorship, fundamentalism, political corruption, and human folly, among other targets of opportunity. His powerful jeremiads earned him...
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Paley, William S. 1901-1990
William S. Paley, the head of the Columbia Broadcasting System, has been classified as a genius with an unerring instinct for entertainment and as a megalomaniac motivated by greed. When he died, Video Age International published conflicting assessments: "No one can deny that Paley was a programming genius, and that he was one of the architects of modern society"; and "He had a fine feel for creating a mix of popular and special interest programming, but he took credit for a great many achievements that distinctly belong to others." Undeniably, under his autocratic leadership the Columbia Broadcasting System rewrote the nation's definition of entertainment and news.
William Paley was born in Chicago on 28 September 1901, the son of Samuel and Goldie Drew Paley, Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. Making money was in Paley's blood: his father had been apprenticed to a cigar maker while in his teens; within a decade he owned a cigar factory and had made a fortune. His most popular brand was La Palina.
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Patterson, Joseph Medill 1879-1946
Joseph Patterson published the first and most successful tabloid newspaper in America. A man of eccentricities and contradictions who acted on impulse, he might have been classified as unbalanced—except that he was a journalist with a sure sense of what interested his readers. Patterson was born into a wealthy and powerful newspaper family. His maternal grandfather was Joseph Medill, publisher and editor of the Chicago Tribune, and his father became editor of that paper. Patterson's sister, Eleanor (Cissy), later became publisher of the Washington Times-Herald. Although he dressed carelessly and rejected the requirements of his social position, he was educated at the upper-class Groton School in Massachusetts and graduated from Yale in 1901. All of his life he felt comfortable with the proletariat, living with bums in Chicago's First Ward and New York's Bowery. Patterson was certain that he understood working-class people, and he endeavored to improve their living conditions. Failing that, he wanted to provide them with a newspaper.
Friend of the Proletariat.
After Yale, Patterson joined the Tribune as a reporter, but his proletarian concerns directed him to reform politics—often in opposition to the policies of the Tribune. Patterson left the...
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Perkins, Maxwell E. 1884-1947
EDITOR AND PUBLISHER
Editor of Geniuses.
Maxwell Perkins was the most renowned editor to practice his craft at an American publishing house. It has been remarked that his career was based on a quest for an American Tolstoy, whose War and Peace he regarded as the supreme work of fiction. Perkins's reputation is permanently linked with those of three geniuses he published at Scribners: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe. The 1920s were a golden decade for American literature; brilliant writers and great publishers reinforced each other. Boni & Liveright had a stimulating list of titles; but no house matched the distinction of Charles Scribner's Sons, which entered the 1920s as a conservative firm and became the imprint of exciting young fiction writers.
Allegiance to Talent.
Though raised in New Jersey, Maxwell Perkins came from New England stock and was Harvard-educated. His Yankee reserve and integrity characterized his relationships with his authors, who depended on him for more than editorial guidance. After working as a reporter on The New York Times, Perkins became advertising manager at Charles Scribner's Sons in 1910 and moved to the editorial department in 1914. Because he had the right background and family connections, he was able to persuade his older colleagues to...
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Ross, Harold W. 1892-1951
Ross of The New Yorker.
Harold Ross was a tramp reporter from Aspen, Colorado, who conceived and ran a cosmopolitan magazine that developed some of the best American writers for twenty-five years. Ross of The New Yorker became the subject of many anecdotes about his eccentricities and alleged lack of sophistication ("Is Moby Dick the Man or the whale?"), yet he was an editorial genius who permanently influenced the rationale of American magazine publishing and developed new literary forms.
Ross left high school to work as a reporter at a string of newspapers. In 1918 he became de facto editor in chief of The Stars and Stripes, the American expeditionary force newspaper published in Paris, with the permanent rank of private. He had discovered his genius: the ability to run a periodical in accordance with his high editorial standards. After the war he worked for magazines in New York while planning his own magazine. His wife, Jane Grant, whom he married in 1920, encourged the plan, and they pooled their earnings toward starting his magazine. Their $25,000 was matched by the same amount from Raoul Fleischmann, a member of a wealthy family who had no literary or journalistic background. Ross wrote the prospectus that included the famous statement: "The New Yorker will be...
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Sarnoff, David 1891-1971
Radio and Television Leader.
David Sarnoff, an immigrant boy with a grammar-school education, became the most powerful figure in the communications and media industries. As president of the Radio Corporation of America he created the National Broadcasting Company radio network and developed television.
Pluck and Luck.
Sarnoff was born in Russia and arrived in America at ten. When he was fifteen he left school to support his family after the death of his father. His first job was as messenger boy for the Commercial Cable Company, and in 1906 he moved to the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America as a $5.50-per-week office boy. Sarnoff taught himself telegraphy and was encouraged by Guglielmo Marconi. On the night of 14 April 1912 he was managing the experimental radio station on the roof of the Wanamaker Department store in New York when the Titanic hit an iceberg. He remained at his equipment for seventy-two hours.
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Winchell, Walter 1897-1972
The claim that Walter Winchell created the modern gossip column has been disputed, but he was indisputably the most widely known and widely read columnist in American journalism. By various estimates the readers of his column and the listeners to his radio broadcasts totaled between 25 million and 50 million at the peak of his fame.
Raised in poverty in Manhattan, Winchell left school in the sixth grade to become a vaudeville singer. He was a song-and-dance man in second-rate vaudeville circuits in 1919 when he began posting pages of gossip and news backstage. In 1922 he began writing the "Stage Whispers" news column for The Vaudeville News. This trade paper had a limited circulation, but it provided him connections with people who assisted his rise. His two early mentors were speakeasy hostess Texas Guinan and Mark Hellinger. A columnist and reporter on The Daily News, Hellinger is regarded as the first Broadway columnist; but sentimental vignettes—not gossip—were his stock in trade.
In 1924 Winchell moved to the Evening Graphic, a sensational tabloid owned by health faddist Bernarr Macfadden. The Graphic featured crime and scandal articles. Winchell's column, "Your Broadway and Mine,"...
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People in the News
Moses Annenberg acquired the Daily Racing Form in 1922; it was the start of his racing wire service providing results to bookies and gamblers, which bankrolled his other publishing ventures.
Clarke Fisher Ansley joined Columbia University Press on 1 January 1928 to commence work on the Columbia Encyclopedia, which was published in 1935.
Harold W. Arlin of KDKA Pittsburgh became the first fulltime radio announcer in 1922.
Edwin Howard Armstrong sold his regeneration and superheterodyne radio patents to Westinghouse for $335,000 in 1920. He later develops FM.
William Bird's Paris-based Three Mountains Press published its first book—Ezra Pound's Indiscretions—in 1923.
Dr. S. Parkes Cadman, prominent minister and syndicated columnist, began a weekly religious program for NBC in 1928.
The Cohn brothers—Jack and Harry—founded Columbia Pictures in 1924.
Poet-publisher Harry Crosby murdered his mistress and commited suicide on 10 December 1929.
Harry and Caresse Crosby's Paris-based Black Sun Press published its first book, her Crosses of Gold, in 1925.
Mrs. Mary Ware Dennett, author of The...
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PULITZER PRIZES FOR JOURNALISM
Editorial Writing: Harvey E. Newbranch, Omaha Evening World Herald
Reporting: John J. Leary Jr., New York World
Public Service: Boston Post
Reporting: Louis Seibold, New York World
Cartoon: Rollin Kirby, New York World
Editorial Writing: Frank M. O'Brien, New York Herald
Public Service: New York World
Reporting: Kirke L. Simpson, Associated Press
Editorial Writing: William Allen White, Emporia Gazette
Public Service: Memphis Commercial Appeal
Reporting: Alva Johnson, The New York Times
Cartoon: Jay Norwood Darling, Des Moines Register and Tribune
Editorial Writing: Boston Herald and Frank I. Cobb, New York World
Public Service: New York World
Reporting: Magner White, San Diego Sun
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Charles Alexander, 55, editor and publisher of black magazines, 5 September 1923.
Daniel Appleton, 77, book publisher, 16 March 1929.
W. W. Appleton, 78, book publisher, 27 January 1924.
Francis W. Ayer, 75, pioneer advertising executive (N. W. Ayer & Son) and publisher of Ayers's American Newspaper Annual and Directory, 5 March 1923.
Clarence W. Barron, 73, publisher of The Wall Street Journal and Barrons Financial Weekly, 2 October 1928.
W. L. Bobbs, 65, book publisher, 11 February 1926.
Edward L. Burlingame, 74, book editor, 15 November 1922.
Frank I. Cobb, 54, newspaper editor, 21 December 1923.
Elizabeth Cochrane (Nellie), 55, reporter, 22 January 1922.
M. H. de Young, publisher of The San Francisco Chronicle, 15 February 1925.
T. A. Dorgan (Tad), 52, cartoonist, 2 May 1929.
E. P. Dutton, 92, book publisher, 6 September 1923.
Otto Floto, 66, circus owner, 4 August 1929.
Charles Forepaugh, 91, circus owner, 17 July 1929.
Richard K. Fox, 76, publisher of...
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Hugh E. Agnew, Advertising Media (New York: Van Nostrand, 1932);
Frank A. Arnold, Broadcast Advertising (New York; Wiley, 1933);
William Peck Banning, Commerciai Broadcast Pioneer: The WEAF Experiment 1922-1926 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1946);
Erik Barnouw,A Tower in Babel: A History of Broadcasting in the United States to 1933 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966);
James Boylan, ed., The World and the 20's: The Golden Years of New York's Legendary Newspaper (New York: Dial, 1973);
Frank Buxton and Bill Owen, The Big Broadcast 1920-1950 (New York: Viking, 1972);
Nelson A. Crawford, The Ethics of Journalism (New York: Knopf, 1924);
Frederick G. Detweiler, The Negro Press in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1922);
Orrin E. Dunlap Jr., Radio in Advertising (New York: Harper, 1931);
Gene Fowler, Skyline: A Reporter's Reminiscences of the 1920s (New York: Viking, 1961);
George French, 20th Century Advertising (New York: Van Nostrand, 1926);
Herman S. Hettinger, A Decade of Radio Advertising (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1933);...
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Important Events in the Media, 1920–1929
- AT&T, GE, and RCA enter into a cross-licensing agreement for radio broadcasting.
- The Freeman is founded in New York by Francis Neilson and Albert Jay Nock as a mildly radical journal.
- Screenland magazine is founded.
- The Dial is founded by Scofield Thayer as a journal receptive to avant-garde literature.
- On January 5, Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is officially launched with a capital value of $20 million.
- On November 2, station KDKA in Pittsburgh makes the first radio broadcast for the general public when it announces the Harding-Cox presidential election returns. Although less than a thousand radios are tuned in, the broadcast stimulates the nation's interest in radio.
- Love Story magazine (Street & Smith) commences publication; it begins as a quarterly but soon becomes a weekly.
- George T. Delacorte Jr. launches the Dell Publishing Company, which becomes a prolific publisher of pulp, comic, and fan magazines.
- The first regularly scheduled children's radio program, The Man on the Moon, commences twice-weekly broadcasting on WJZ Newark.
- On April 11, the first...
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