August 8, 2020

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Circus radio broadcast

Circus broadcasted by radio for first time

Underwood & Underwood. “Circus broadcasted by radio for first time.” 1925. Summary: Photograph shows Dolly, a two year old elephant, rehearsing her “song” before the microphone in Madison Square Garden for the broadcasting of the Big Circus (Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey) to be sent out by WJZ; a man watches the elephant as a radio engineer operates the radio controls.

Imagine you are the elephant. What is your “song” about?

Create speech or thought bubbles for the two men and the elephant in this picture.

How could we broadcast the elephant’s “song” today? What kind of equipment would we use? How is that similar to and different from the equipment used in this image?

What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know!

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