Cavalcade of America phonograph recordsCreation: 1935-1953
The Cavalcade of America was an anthology drama radio program which aired weekly from 1935 to 1953. The radio show was sponsored by the DuPont Company, a chemical company, which began as a manufacturer of gunpowder in 1802. The DuPont Company created the Cavalcade of America as a promotional tool. The program dramatized historical events focusing on individual stories of heroism, and occasionally presented a musical performance. This collection contains recordings of most of the show's episodes and consists of over 2,900 phonograph albums, approximately 500 sound tape reels, 6 sound cassettes and one scrapbook.
- Creation: 1935-1953
90 Linear Feet
2,605 sound discs : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 16 in. 227 sound discs : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in. Approximately 500 sound tape reels. 6 sound cassettes. 1 item : scrapbook.
The Cavalcade of America was an anthology drama radio program which aired weekly from 1935 to 1953. The radio show was sponsored by the DuPont Company, a chemical company, which began as a manufacturer of gunpowder in 1802. The DuPont Company created the Cavalcade of America as a promotional tool. The program dramatized historical events focusing on individual stories of heroism, and occasionally presented a musical performance. The stories were presented as uplifting and emphasized human achievements, progress and technological innovations.
Roy Durstine (1886–1962) created the show and Donald Voorhees (1903–1989) was the musical director. There were numerous writers and directors used for different episodes. Among the writers were Arthur Miller (1915-2005), Virginia Radcliffe (1914-1976), George Faulkner (1903-), and Robert Tallman (1914-1995). Directors included Robert Stevenson (1905-1986), Harry Horner (1910-1994), Peter Godfrey (1899-1970), and Laslo Benedek (1905-1992).
The show had eighteen series producing 781 episodes. Although not actual advertising for DuPont products, the company motto was read at the beginning of each episode, “Maker of better things for better living through chemistry”. The narrators included countless famous performers such as Bette Davis (1908-1989), Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954), Clark Gable (1901-1960), Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), James Stewart (1908-1997), Helen Hayes (1900-1993), Orsen Welles (1915-1985), and Lana Turner (1921-1995).
Cavalcade of America was adapted into a television program, which aired from 1952 to 1957 on NBC and then later on ABC. The radio show and the television program only overlapped for one year before the radio show was discontinued.
Scope and Content
This collection contains recordings of the Cavalcade of America radio programs sponsored by the DuPont Company. The recordings range in date from 1932 through 1957, and consist of over 2,900 phonograph albums, approximately 500 sound tape reels, 6 sound cassettes and one scrapbook. The phonographs include most of the broadcasts from 1935 to 1952 and each broadcast is made up of two phonograph albums, Part I & II, each episode is approximately twenty-five minutes.
The collection, starting from show number (ID) #1 through #781, is arranged chronologically. The full run of shows are in numbered boxes; duplicates follow in lettered boxes. When an episode has a sound tape reel it is listed along with the box number. The sound tape reels are also arranged chronologically.
The scrapbook contains photographs and newspaper clippings from a Cavalcade of America performance in Niagara Falls, New York in 1948.
Existence and Location of Copies
Access to Collection
No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.
These records are located in remote storage. Please contact staff 48 hours in advance of research visit at email@example.com
Physical condition of records may prevent playback; use reel to reel audio tape access copies when available.
Language of Materials
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Cavalcade of America phonograph records
- Lisa Kruczek and Laurie Rizzo
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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