OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
Title: Ed Jackson “Book of Radio Personalities” Scrapbook
Collection Dates: 1933-1941
Extent and Forms of Material: 1 cubic foot, (1 box)
Creator: H. Edwin Jackson
Abstract: H. Edwin Jackson (1907-1989) created this scrapbook of radio stars while living in Chicago, Illinois during the Great Depression.
Collection Number: AC0861
Processing Note: Processed by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., archivist, August 2004; supervised by Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist. Finding aid revised September 2009.
INFORMATION FOR USERS OF THE COLLECTION
Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use: Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Preferred Citation: Title and date of item, Ed Jackson “Book of Radio Personalities” Scrapbook, 1933-1941, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 1, page number XX, digital file number XXXXXXXX
IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTION
Administrative/Biographical History: H. Edwin Jackson (1907-1989) was born in Union City, Indiana, the youngest of three children. Jackson’s interest in entertainment personalities began early. His father was engaged in real estate and through a land swap acquired The Star Theater in Union City, one of the town’s three theaters. The Star was a mid-size theater with a screen and stage. The Jacksons ran The Star as a family business. Jackson was the assistant projectionist to his older sister Mary Elizabeth and he and his father were the janitors. The Star showed silent movies starring such personalities as William S. Hart, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Charlie Chaplin, and Wallace Reid. During the influenza epidemic of the teens the theater closed. The family eventually sold The Star, and Jackson went to work as an assistant projectionist at The Grand, Union City’s largest and most modern movie house.
When Jackson graduated from high school, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. The Jackson family’s first radio was “The Freshman” and the family eventually owned an Atwater Kent. Jackson became an avid radio fan listening to local Chicago stations WKYW, WENR, and WBBM as well as the national radio networks. Some of Jackson’s favorite shows were The Shadow, Amos n’ Andy and the Lux Radio Theater. Jackson was laid off from his job in 1933 and spent a great deal of his time listening to radio. His mother gave him money to purchase materials to make a scrapbook of radio and entertainment personalities. He began his book in January 1933, entitling it “Ed Jackson’s Book of Radio Personalities.” Jackson wrote to many of the personalities he featured in his scrapbook asking for autographed photographs which he put into the book along with clipped photographs and other items of interest from magazines and newspapers, radio show ticket stubs, and programs. Jackson included comics, singers, commentators (both news and social), and stars of popular radio programs. He revised/repaired the book in January, 1982 but Jackson did not detail his revisions.
Jackson was employed by the Lindberg Steel Treating Co. in Melrose Park, Illinois, for thirty years. He married Louise LaJeunesse in 1935 and had two children. Louise died in 1947, and Jackson married Eugenia McDougald in 1951. At the time of his death in December 1989 he was living in Walden, New York.
Sources: Oral History by H. Edwin Jackson, Archives Center Control File.
Scope and Content: One homemade scrapbook measuring 15” x 33” created and complied by H. Edwin Jackson. The book contains photographs, some autographed, news clippings and commercially printed photographs of numerous radio and entertainment personalities from 1933 forward. The arrangement of the book and its artwork was the creation of Jackson. Many of the pages have photographs and/or news items of additional personalities associated with the featured personality on that page. Personalities are listed in the order in which they appear in the book.
System of Arrangement: The collection is organized into one series.
Series 1, Ed Jackson “Book of Radio Personalities” Scrapbook, 1933-1941
Acquisition Information: Donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center by Annette L. Smith (H. Edwin Jackson’s daughter) in June, 2004.
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