Researching correspondence schools
John Battison received this letter from a reader:
Dear Mr. Battison,
I am a historian of education at the University of Delaware. I'm studying the history of correspondence schools in America from the 1890s through the 1930s. The National Radio Institute (NRI) was one of the largest and most reputable specialized schools with enrollments of approximately 12,000 students in the 1920s. I am eager to find out if there are any NRI primary sources — letters, memoranda, annual reports, sales records, and so on — from those decades. The traditional online search engines for archives turn up nothing, unfortunately. For several other home study schools, I've contacted children and grandchildren of founders and officers (for instance, the granddaugher to the founder of the U.S. School of Music had a 200+ page memoir written by David Kemp).
Do you know if any descendants of James Smith or Mannie Haas might have their papers? Do you have any records from those early years?
Historians have overlooked the history of home study, and I am trying to fill that gap in our knowledge.
professor and former director, School of Education
University of Delaware
John Battison was the director of education for the NRI from 1952 to 1954, and he has provided Mr. Hampel with some additional information about the school. Since contacting us, Hampel has located some NRI archival records at the Radio and Television Museum in Maryland. Any additional information about the NRI can be sent to Hampel.
The December 2006 issue featured a list of 100 innovations that have shaped radio broadcasting. That list was selected by a panel of Radio magazine contributors and readers from a longer list of nominations submitted by readers. Narrowing the wide range of products and ideas to 100 was bound to leave something out, and as we expected, we received letters with thoughts on items that did not make our list.
Great research on the article. One item I was looking for, though, was Marti RPU equipment. Marti has over the years become virtually synonymous with any wireless remote broadcast. I think Marti would have been good addition to the list.
director of engineering
Golden West Radio
Wait for it
Good points in your December Viewpoint re: HD Radio. Everyone seems to want it to take off instantly. It's like the old Heinz ketchup ad said: "Good things come to those who wait."