Title: WPG Radio Collection
Date: 1929 - 1982
Collection Number: H077
Extent: 1 folder
Repository: Alfred M. Heston Collection, Atlantic City Free Public Library, 1 North Tennessee Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, (609) 345-2269.
Preferred Citation: WPG Radio Collection, Alfred M. Heston Collection, Atlantic City Free Public Library.
IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTION
Atlantic City’s first radio station, WPG Radio, began broadcasting in the 1920s, reaching listeners in South Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Its studios were located inside of the Atlantic City Convention Hall, now known as Boardwalk Hall. The radio station was operated by the Columbia Broadcast System (CBS) and utilized a 5,000-watt transmitter to air its radio signals along the Eastern Seaboard. WPG Radio ended its broadcasts from Boardwalk Hall in 1939. Two other stations, WBAB and WFPG – which delivered news and entertainment from its studio on Steel Pier – succeeded WPG and began airing in the 1940s. As of 2012, there are 11 FM radio stations and 5 AM radio stations in the greater Atlantic City area.
Many of the items in this collection relate to the career of Ethel Rattay. Ethel Rattay – born October 31, 1886 – was the Publicity Director at WPG. She was also an on-air radio host and conducted the Daily Celebrity Hour, the WPG Tea Time Topic, and the WPG Women’s Hour. In 1933, she was the head of the Women’s Reception Committee for the Miss America Pageant. She died at the age of 79 in November of 1965.
Scope and Content:
The WPG collections collection consists of materials related to the WPG radio career of Ethel Rattay including: transcripts of several Ethel Rattay radio interviews and shows; an original poem written by Rattay; newspaper and magazine articles written by and about Rattay; and a photograph of Rattay with Petey the “Our Gang” dog at Steel Pier. Other materials in the collection include tickets for the railroad; various newspaper clippings – the bulk of which deal with WPG radio and Steel Pier; stationery including WPG radio stationery; and various pamphlets and programs.
Though the majority of the items in the collection are centered on Ethel Rattay’s career, the creator of the collection is unknown. Further, information about Ethel Rattay’s relation to the Atlantic City Free Public Library is unknown. The WPG Radio Collection was once housed with the ACFPL Scrapbooks Collection (H035). Archival staff at ACFPL disassociated the WPG Radio Collection from the ACFPL Scrapbooks Collection when the Scrapbooks Collection was processed in August, 2011.
Given the brevity of the collection’s extent, the WPG Radio Collection is housed in a box along with the Gladys Lody Papers (H074), the Ed Davis Papers (H075), and the Bonnie Josephine Papers (H076).
“World’s Playground Radio,” WPG brochure, 1925.
Anapol, Malthon M. WPG Atlantic City: A Forgotten Chapter in the History of Broadcasting. (paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association 65th, San Antonio, TX, November 10-13, 1979)
Social Security Death Index, online http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/ssdi/, death index entry for Ethel Rattay accessed January 23, 2012.
OTHER INFORMATION FOR USERS OF THE COLLECTION
Radio stations – New Jersey – Atlantic City
Boardwalk Hall (Atlantic City, N.J.)
Steel Pier (Atlantic City, N.J.)
Vertical Subject Files
Radio and Television
Processing Note: The collection is unprocessed. Finding aid written by Shannon O’Neill, archivist, January, 2011.
Copyright Notice: While the Atlantic City Free Public Library owns the collection, the Library may not own the copyright for the materials. Researchers wishing to reproduce materials are responsible for obtaining the proper permission.
Folder 1 Ethel Rattay broadcast transcripts, Newspaper clippings by Ethel Rattay, Newspaper Clippings about Ethel Rattay, Various newspaper clippings, photograph of Ethel Rattay, Railroad tickets, Various brochures and pamphlets, Stationery
Title: WPG Radio Collection