H. Edwin Jackson created this scrapbook of radio stars while living in Chicago, Illinois during the Great Depression.
Scope and Contents:
One homemade scrapbook created and compiled by H. Edwin Jackson. The book contains photographs, some autographed, news clippings, and commercially printed reproductions of photographs of numerous radio and entertainment personalities from 1933 forward. The arrangement of the book and its artwork was the creation of Jackson. Many pages have photographs and/or news items of additional personalities associated with the featured personality.
Subjects include: The Mills Brothers, Ruth Etting, Fred Allen with Portland Hoffa and Jack Smart, Lanny Ross, Phil Baker, Ireene [?] Wicker, The Pickens Sisters, Raymond, Knight, Clara (Louise Starkey), Lu (Isobel Carothers) n' Em (Helen King), Phil Harris and Leah Ray, Vera Van, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Gladys Swarthout, Jeanie Lang, Myrt and Marge, Helen Jepson, Jack Benny and Mary Livingston, Deanna Durbin, Helen Morgan, Jimmy Durante, Alexander Woolcott, The Boswell Sisters, Edwin C. Hill, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Paul Whiteman, Jessica Dragonette, Dave Rubinoff, Little Jackie Heller, Joe Penner, Mildred Bailey, Olga Albani, Vivienne Segal, Ed Wynn, Beatrice Lillie, Burgess Meredith, Dorothy Page, Bing Crosby, Rosa Ponselle, Stoopnagle and Budd, Grace Moore, Frank Crumit and Julia Sanderson, Frances Langford, Conrad Thibault, Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hilliard, Bobby Breen, Jack Pearl, The Big Show, Olsen (Ole Olsen) and Johnson (Chick Johnson), Ramona, Rudy Vallee, The Easy Aces, Annette Hanshaw, Ben Bernie, Alice Faye, Charles Winninger, Ray Perkins, Eddie Cantor, Irene Rich, The Weiner Minstrels, Frank Parker, Jane Froman, Walter O'Keefe, James Melton, Al Jolson, Donald Novis, Morton Downey, The First Nighter (Charles P. Hughes), Lawrence Tibbett, Fred Astaire, Abe Lyman, Ethel Shutta, Fanny Brice, Joe Cook, Ken Murray, Jack Oakie, Tony Wans, Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians, Bob Burns, Don Ameche, Nelson Eddy, Ted Bergman, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.
Collection is arranged into one series.
Biographical / Historical:
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.
Oral History by H. Edwin Jackson, Archives Center Control File
Memorial Obituary for Edwin Jackson, The Newburgh News, December 14, 1989.
Bello, Paul. "Local scrapbook to be displayed at the Smithsonian". Times Community Papers, May 17, 2006.
E-mail message from Annette Smith to Cathy Keen, June 2, 2009.
Materials in the Archives Center
George H. Clark Collection Radioana Collection, 1880-1950 (NMAH.AC.0055)
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Radio, Motion Pictures, 1896-1963 (NMAH.AC.0060)
National Bureau of Standards Radio Collection, 1917-1933 (NMAH.AC.0217)
Jean Clairmook Radio Scrapbook, 1930-1932 (NMAH.AC.0674)
Donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center by Annette L. Smith (H. Edwin Jackson's daughter) in June, 2004.
Donated to the Archives Center by Edwin Jackson's daughter, Ms. Annette Smith.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, circa 1920-1991, bulk 1946-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by Terra Foundation for American Art.