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History Is Fun, Part 1

As a kid, if you wanted to learn about history, it meant going to the library or remembering what you learned in school, so I’m still amazed at the amount and variety of historical information available on the web. This edition of Off the Beaten Path focuses on links related to history.

The Prelinger Archives
Recently I was talking with my boss, Clyde Scott (our director of video at New World Symphony), about my posts and he recommended the Prelinger Archives for old public domain footage. I immediately did a “radio” search on the archive to find some excellent old films about radio. They’re great to watch … interesting, even educational. You can take a step back and look at the hundreds and hundreds of other interesting films here as well.

Sears Houses
In the early 1900s, Sears offered everything in their mail order catalogs. All around the country stands houses today that came as plans and kits from Sears. Here’s a look at a web page with many of the designs, pics, and info about these Sears kit homes.

Skype … 1960s Style
Today we take audio and video over the internet for granted. Skype and a host of other “video phones” work very well, but the idea dates back decades. Here’s a great video of British Telecom showing their video phone system and how it might be used. This might be a bit of a reminder that sometimes it’s better to only HEAR the other person!

Civil War … Then and Now
In 2015, a photographer traveled across America taking pictures of locations that had been photographed during the Civil War. The images of then and now are fascinating to see in contrast with each other.

German U-Boat Raised
Nearly 25 years ago, a German WWII U-boat was raised. Here are some interesting pictures of the inside of that boat.

And finally …
Thirty years ago I was a young U.S. Air Force airman (double entendre if you are in the Air Force and actually also on-the-air) working for the American Forces Radio & TV Service — AFRTS — in Madrid (Torrejon de Ardoz), Spain. I spent four great years doing everything from the morning show on EBS (European Broadcast Squadron) 100.2 to anchoring news on EBS TV-5. U.S. broadcasters and broadcast organizations treated AFRTS very well by providing to us “the best in stateside entertainment”. One short radio program was “Light of My Life”. I loved airing it during my morning show (it was usually only five minutes in length) as it was a real hoot! It was produced and voiced by U.S. Los Angeles air personalities Lohman & Barkley. It’s a radio soap opera that can only be described as strange and incredibly funny. Here’s a link to some of the episodes of this wonderful series.

If you stumble across a good or unusual web site that might be of interest, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. My email address is [email protected].