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The Transcontinental Railroad -- This 1936 radio program documents the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad with dramatizations of key events including the driving of the Golden Spike. It was produced by the U.S. Resettlement Administration (precursor to the Farm Security Administration) for distribution to radio stations. Mono. 15 minutes.  $5.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling.

The Railroad Hour, "Roaring Camp," July 23, 1951 — Every week from 1948 to 1954, the Association of American Railroads sponsored "The Railroad Hour," first on ABC, then on NBC. Each episode opened with the whistle of a thundering locomotive, theme music based on "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and an invitation to come aboard "our summer show train!" The program was "brought to you by the American railroads. The same railroads that bring you most of the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the fuel you burn and all the other things you use in your daily life." During the commercial break halfway through the program, an AAR public service announcement tells the story of how the railroad industry responded to disastrous Kansas and Missouri floods in the summer of 1951 — rerouting stranded freights and putting on special passenger movements to get workers to factories inaccessible by highway. The program ends with a patriotic message of how railroads can help support the Korean War effort and a preview of "Where's the show train bound for next week?" A call of "All Aboard!" and the chuff of a steam locomotive take us away until then.

(We should point out that the "Roaring Camp" episode isn't a railroad story — it deals with an infant born to a dying Indian woman at a gold rush mining camp. But the plugs for the railroad industry make it interesting listening nonetheless.) Starring Gordon MacRae and Dorothy Warenskjold. $7.50 plus $3.00 shipping and handling.


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