This post by scholar Marcel LaFollette, the first in her series on television and the Smithsonian archives, perked our interest. LaFollette writes about the show-and-tell parlance of early morning talk shows, pulling up archival images from an April 1953 sit-down by Smithsonian Secretary Leonard Carmichael, his predecessor Charles Greeley Abbot, and aeronautics curator Paul Garber celebrating the fiftieth anniversary powered flight. The crew brought along related ephemera from the Smithsonian’s collection, including Charles Lindbergh’s flying suit and a map of the flight plan (along with an elaborate passenger plane-model prop).
WTOP announcer Bill Jenkins can be seen clutching the latest issue of Saturday Evening Post, which featured Part 3 of an article by Lindbergh himself. We did some digging in the internet archives and found a copy of the May 2, 1953 issue, which ran Part 4. The cover art, an illustration by Thornton Utz, is equally remarkable—Utz designed 50+ covers for the Post in his lifetime, along with some corporate ad design for Coca-Cola, General Electric, and Ford Motor Co. You can check out a post on the Mad Men meets B-movie dynamics of his work here and an overwhelming archive of his illustrations for The American Magazine here.