|Radio Laboratories business card|
Moe became known throughout the community as a skilled radio man who was up-to-date with the latest technology, a reputation that led to some surprising interactions. In an undated letter from the 1930s, he warns a colleague about those who might want to exploit his knowledge for nefarious purposes: “… the police department in New York officially opened its Police Radio network, and I’ve been approached by bootleggers and (so called) gangsters to install radio receivers in their automobiles for reception of these signals.”
The Biographical series of the Moses and Frances Asch Collection provides a glimpse into an era of exciting technological innovations and the life of an enterprising young businessman in the midst of a tumultuous period in American history. For this and other reasons (who can resist the charm of vintage ads singing the praises of newly-minted FM radio?), this series ranks as one of the most fascinating parts of the Archives. Anyone looking to examine the life of Moe Asch before Folkways would do well to start here.
- Aja Bain, Intern, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections