Thursday, October 17, 2013

Warren G Harding makes some recordings of speeches 1920-1921

Warren G Harding was not afraid to speak almost anywhere. In fact he was the first President to speak on commercial radio. But he made several recordings over the years for Nation's Forum and later Victor. While we have in many cases heard the recordings. Rarely do we ever see the pictures of the event.
Here we have 3 pictures of the same recording session dealing with Senator or possibly by this time President Harding. He was a good speaker and he seemed to always enjoy a good crowd. However many people said that he was able to say much, without having to say much of anything. Well he was a newspaper editor! He knew how to say and find the right words for whatever the event was.
He was like most other Presidents, he had a full time speech writer.
He was also one of that special group that liked to be involved in the whole process. Of course he had help from assistants and speech writers, but he seemed to be more interested in the process than many others who had preceded and those who had followed him. of course there are some very great exceptions. In another post in the future we can talk about them.

The process to record Harding was called the acoustic process. It meant that there was no microphones, speakers, mixers, or electricity at all. It was all mechanical recording. he spoke into a recording horn and the power of his voice would cut the wax master to make the record. It was as simple as that. So you will get a real good view of Harding here and also the recording horn and a touch of the recording mechanism.

Now the next time you hear a historic recording of Harding perhaps these pictures will help your imagination a little to picture him making them.

This picture was in the news magazine "Outlook" here you see Harding with his reading glasses on ready to record.

These are photos of the same session captured by the photographer. One can only guess where these pictures were taken. One good guess would be Washington DC.

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