This history of the future picture on the front cover of this (1945) publication reminds me of the anxious moments in the opening moments of 8th grade when one of the teachers brought a television to school (being in NYC) for us to watch the Mets in the 1969 World Series, nearly 40 years ago next week. (There were series games played in sunlight then.) Radio had great potential and promise, and the kids crowded around this receiver/turntable tech center would’ve been like kids 10 years ago crowding around a monitor to see their first glimpses of the internet.
Radio didn’t make it.
There’s some interesting detail in this photo. The programming on the blackboard in the rear directed the children to classrooms for the different radio lessons: “New Horizons”, “World of Wings”, “Science at Work”. “By Freedom’s Light”, and a few others that I can’t make out. All were CBS productions, which evidently had nothing to do with the publisher of this pamphlet, Newsweek. The shows were being broadcast by WBEZ, Chicago, which was actually a Chicago Public Schools station and intended for just this purpose—real public broadcasting.
The girls in the front are looking at a user’s
guide for “
But as I said, radio was swept away by the great leavener of television. It looks like Alan Lomax never did do anything for the TV, and its educational aspect (so far as school-use goes) never really did get off the ground. Overall, it seems to me that TV never did get as smart as radio.
1. It is interesting to note that because of Lomax’s one-world Lefty approach to the appreciation of music--world music today, multiculturalism in another form—he came to the squinty-eyed attention of the challenged J.Edgar Hoover, the FBI managing to produce an 800-page file on the ethnomusicologist, all without a single anti-American blot. Lomax’s total body of work is astonishing, and we all owe the man a strong salute.