BY JESSICA AVERY
This Zenith TransOceanic Radio (1940s) was last on display at the Fort Bend Museum in 2015.
The History of Radio in a Nutshell
The golden age of American radio lasted from 1930 through the 1940s, and grew into the fabric of daily life in the United States. Radio provided news and entertainment to a country struggling with economic depression and war. Programming was varied and included soap operas in the afternoon, adventure series for children, science fiction, comedies and, of course, music!
During World War II there was a growth in network news that covered events happening overseas on the front. Some programming was used for propaganda purposes, while others aimed at keeping up the morale of the public. Some of the most popular shows during this time were Dick Tracy, The Green Hornet, Howdy Doody Time, The Lone Ranger and Superman.
Now an important part of making those shows come alive were the actors' voices, the music and the sound effects!
The Art of Foley
Foley is the art of creating and performing everyday sounds for television and movies. These sound effects include footsteps, wind blowing, rain, doors opening and closing and more. Many of the sound effects were developed by Jack Foley, and incredibly skilled sound effect artist, who developed a method for performing sound effects that were used during the live radio broadcasts in the 1920s. His sound effect techniques pioneered the methods that foley artists still use today.
Sound Effect Ideas
Make and Record Your Own Radio Show
Fort Bend Museum Staff