I'm getting back to a little research project I started last fall.
Can someone recommend a contact at the Library of Congress or the Packard
Campus that I could talk/email with about the 16" transcription set in
their collection of "War of the Worlds"?
Last year, I ran into a 78 rpm lacquer set of the broadcast that appear to
be a "live" master created the night of the broadcast, rather than a dub
created at a later point. I've been trying to document known surviving
transcriptions of "War of the Worlds" to see if my set might be useful for
a restoration of the program and to figure out something about the origins
of the set.
On the LoC's disc set, I'd like to find out if they know the origin of the
set (Was it donated by CBS? An individual? Another government agency?),
any information on the labels, and what brand of lacquers might have been
One of the things that's puzzled me about "War of the Worlds" is that a
complete tape of the show only appeared in the late 60s from a theatrical
producer named Mannheim Fox - this tape was used for the many lp releases
of the program in the 70s and is the copy known through subsequent
broadcasts, cd and web releases. I'm wondering if the Mannheim Fox copy is
actually the one housed at the Library of Congress - it appeared among
collectors about the time that the LoC set was transferred to reel to reel
What surprised me about the lacquer set that I have is that it has some
sections and dialogue missing from the widely circulating Mannheim Fox copy
- that version appeared to have some severe groove damage that was edited
out, resulting in some sections being omitted.
The only other lacquer set of the broadcast I've found in a library or
archives is at Lilly Library at Indiana. Their copy is a 78 rpm dub from
16" discs on glass-based discs made in the 40s for Orson Welles.
Randy A. Riddle
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