NFSA celebrates ‘Golden Days’ of radio

Reporter

Gems from Australian radio’s ‘Golden Days’ (1920s to 1960s) have been unearthed in the latest instalment in the National Film and Sound Archive’s (NFSA) Radio 100 digital exhibition.

They include excerpts from the first broadcast of the Australian Parliament and the first episode of Dad and Dave from Snake Gully.

Golden Days celebrates the explosion of entertainment content on the air in the early twentieth century, from rapid-fire cricket coverage to a 1946 visit from Santa to Anthony Horden’s Department Store in Sydney, and a clip which features three children tackling the hot-button question: ‘What would you like for Christmas?’

Golden Days also explores the rise of radio as a trusted source of information. Examples include the first radio broadcast of the Australian Parliament on 8 May 1945, in which Acting Prime Minister Ben Chifley announced the end of the Second World War in Europe.

NFSA Senior Curator Thorsten Kaeding says “From the 1930s and 40s, radio really found its place as a companion to our lives.”

“From radio series to talent shows, from sports to breaking news, radio took centre stage in Australia’s cultural landscape.”

The launch of Golden Days builds on last month’s release of New Waves – the first instalment in the Radio 100 digital exhibition – which explored Australian radio’s origin story and its journey from military technology to broad-based cultural medium.

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