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Original Diamond Dramas header art

The Diamond Dramas Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Diamond Dramas
Original Diamond Dramas Premiere spot ad from January 18 1934
Original Diamond Dramas premiere spot ad from January 18 1934

Miracle Diamonds spot ad from February 8 1934
Miracle Diamonds spot ad from February 8 1934

The Austrian Yellow Diamond
The Austrian Yellow Diamond
[133 1/3 carats]

'Diamonds in the Air' spot for the Diamond Dramas premiere episode 'The Great Mogul' from April 1 1935
'Diamonds in the Air' spot for the Diamond Dramas premiere episode 'The Great Mogul' from April 1 1935

 'Diamonds in the Air' spot for the episode 'I Have the Diamond' from March 5 1935
'Diamonds in the Air' spot for the episode 'I Have the Diamond' from March 5 1935
"'Diamonds in the Air' spot for the Diamond Dramas Episode 'The Diamond Necklace' from October 28 1935
'Diamonds in the Air' spot for the Diamond Dramas Episode 'The Diamond Necklace' from October 28 1935

 'Diamonds in the Air' spot for the Final Diamond Dramas Episode 'Dreams of Empire' from December 23 1935
'Diamonds in the Air' spot for the Final Diamond Dramas Episode 'Dreams of Empire' from December 23 1935

Spot ad for the 1944 broadcasts of Diamond Dramas from March 6 1944

Background: The Diamond Dramas are produced in 1926

Miracle Diamonds was the brand behind Sidney S. Fox's $35,000 investment in a series of twenty-six, fascinating histories of the most famous diamonds in the world, circa 1926 to 1927. Before you start thinking that Sidney S. Fox was a famous jeweler, let us disabuse you of that notion. Sidney S. Fox was an extremely wealthy man, make no mistake about it. But his fortune was based on the 'miracle salts' found in and around The Great Salt Lake of Utah. The miracle salts upon which he made his initial fortune were laxative salts. They were coined 'miracle diamonds,' due to their unique, diamond-like crystalline appearance.

The Freeman-Lang Studios was the syndicator for the original, 1926 production. The syndication first aired in the mountain time zone over radio station K-D-Y-L, Salt Lake, by prior agreement with Sidney S. Fox, the owner of the 'Miracle Diamonds' brand, and the producer of the series--and by 1934, the owner of radio station K-D-Y-L. The original syndication premiered over KDYL on January 18, 1934. The entire series aired, in sequence under Miracle Diamonds sponsorship.

Clearly, by the time the series had run through its first broadcast syndication, the logical observation made by many of the business people listening in, was "Why isn't this series being sponsored by a jewelry concern?"

Quite naturally it didn't take long for Sidney S. Fox to line up major jewelers throughout the country to bid on the syndication rights for a subsequent broadcast run--this time, sponsored by a fine jewelry concern. The first to sponsor the second airing of the series was a large, West Coast jewelry firm, The Licht Company and their various local affiliates. In the case of the run we've logged below, the sponsor was Davidson & Licht Jewelry Company, in concert with The Gruen Watch Company of Cincinnati. Licht apparently also owned or was affiliated with the Kay Jewelers chain, who sponsored later broadcasts of the series in other regions of the country. This begs the question as to how much Sidney S. Fox was asking for syndication rights for the series. One can't help but wonder why it took two major jewelers' concerns to sponsor that first 1935 run. One naturally expects that even in post-Depression America, any national jewelry firm would have had sufficient funds to sponsor this relatively brief series on their own.

In answer to that obvious question, we encountered an article on one of the newspaper pages promoting Diamond Dramas' 1935 run, stating that, of the previously recorded 514 millionaires in the U.S. prior to The Depression, only 22 remained millionaires after the onset of The Great Depression. That might best explain two major jewelers teaming up to sponsor a twenty-six installment series of 15-minute programs.

Diamond Dramas: Broadcast History

As noted above, the introduction of a radio program about diamonds during the aftermath of post-Depression America might seem counterintuitive. Indeed, it seemed even more counterintuitive to introduce the series as a promotional vehicle for laxative salts. These were, afterall, historical vignettes about the largest, most valuable diamonds in world history, as of 1926. When the series first aired in 1934 it did, indeed, seem tailored for sponsorship by a large jewelry chain.

Sidney S. Fox, who by 1935 had acquired pioneering radio station K-D-Y-L--and who still owned Miracle Diamonds, Incorporated, soon realized the value of his syndicated series as a promotional vehicle for a jeweler's firm. Soon after taking control of KDYL, Fox licensed the series to the Davidson and Licht Jewlery Company. The Gruen Watch Company had also expressed an interest in sponsoring the series, as they'd already begun a campaign sponsoring other Radio programming. The deal was struck and the series aired a second time, nationally, with considerably greater promotion and fanfare--the promotion and fanfare it deserved.

The 1935 run was broadcast from 50,000 watt KLX Radio in Oakland, a station owned by the Oakland Tribune--hence our rationale for employing the Tribune's spot ads and radio listings for provenancing our log below. Davidson & Licht had been a major advertiser for the Oakland Tribune for almost nine years. 1935 was the 16th anniversary of Davidson & Licht. The sponsorship of Diamond Dramas was therefore a natural centerpiece of a combined 16th anniversary promotional campaign that also included weekly, full-page ads, donations of various silver trophies and silver plate to local sports tournaments in the Oakland area, and prominent spot articles about Davidson & Licht's long association with the City of Oakland and the Oakland Tribune, itself.

For Davidson & Licht and the Oakland Tribune, the promotional spots and articles for all twenty-six episodes of the series were lavishly illustrated and detailed with each installment. As can be seen in the sidebar, all of the installments were promoted with a spot ad synopsizing the drama for the week, accompanied by a prominent article about that episode on the same page.

This was also a win-win situation for both the Oakland Tribune and their Radio station, KLX. The series was a popular local feature, heard from Oregon to Southern California and as far away as Salt Lake City. Gruen Watch Company of Cincinnati's involvement was apparently limited to the context of their promotional, on-air announcements. We have yet to hear any of the actual commercial announcements since the only circulating exemplars of Diamond Dramas were encoded direct from a set of the original electrical transcriptions--sans commercial spots, bumpers or station identification.

The fourteen and a half to fifteen-minute transcriptions themselves contain 90 seconds of music fill at the beginning for inserting a commercial message, an eleven-minute drama, then approximately two minutes of musical fill for an ending commercial message. This was a fairly common format for the 1930s and eleven minute programming was one of early Radio's most common formats, for both syndicated programs and live, locally produced, or chain-produced programs of the era.

We make a point of explaining the limited, eleven-minute format to underscore the tightly scripted, yet highly informative--and compelling--docudramas contained within each installment of the series. Given the longer history of many of these historic diamonds, a few of the more notorious histories extend to two or even three subsequent installments throughout the run.

Davidson & Licht chose to break up the original twenty-six episode run into two 'seasons' of thirteen installments each, separated by a Summer 1935 break of thirteen weeks. KLX aired Anita and Orosco, a 'novelty' guitar duo, in the Diamond Dramas timeslot.

Once the 1935 broadcasts had run their course, it was nine years before Diamonds Dramas aired in syndication again. Beginning in March 1944, both Salt Lake City [KDYL] and San Antonio, Texas [KTSA] aired the complete, twenty-six episode run. Subsequent runs aired in Iowa and Massachusetts in 1945 for local sponsors.

Diamond Dramas: Fascination with history's famous gems.

There's no question that these vignettes about insanely valuable diamonds captured the interest of listeners in every market in which they aired. It's also interesting that the two periods during which the series aired were post-catastrophe eras--The Depression and World War II. Perhaps it was pure escapism or fantasy. Perhaps it was simply a calculated attempt by jewelers throughout the country to kick-start sales of their gems after a national economic down-turn. Whatever the rationale, the series remains the only series in Radio history to focus on the great diamonds of civilization--and their often violent and sordid, but invariably romantic histories.

Diamond Dramas leads off its series with The Great Mogul, the 787 carat rough diamond first discovered in 1650, at the Kollur Mine in the Golconda region of southern India. The Great Mogul Diamond reportedly became part of the spoils of war when India was invaded and Delhi sacked by the Persian ruler Nadir Shah. After Nadir Shah's assassination in 1747, the stone disappeared. The most popular legends as to its ultimate fate appear to be that it was either further cut to form the famous Koh-i-noor diamond, the lesser known Darya-ye-noor diamond, or most plausibly, the source of the equally famous Orlov diamond, which is reportedly similar in color and orginal cut to the fabled Great Mogul. The less romantic theory is that the giant stone was ultimately cut into hundreds of smaller diamonds worth far more in commerical value than the original source diamond.

As might be discerned from the hypothetical history of The Great Mogul, many of the subsequent diamond histories in the series represent similarly romantic, violent, adventurous, or ironic waypoints in the history of individual diamonds that could quite plausibly trace their own origins to The Great Mogul. The series also provides a historical vignette about the Koh-i-noor and the Orloff [Orlov], which might well have been cut from the original Great Mogul. Remember that this series was produced in 1926. At that time, accounts of each of these famous diamonds treated each of these diamonds as distinct, separate discoveries with their own unique histories.

Other great historical diamonds that interweave throughout the series are the famous blue Hope Diamond, the Regency and the Sancy.

Series Derivatives:

None
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Historical Docudramas
Network(s): KDYL [Salt Lake City]; KLX [Oakland]
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 34-01-18 01 The Great Mogul
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): [Note: We elected to log the series with the 1935, KLX run, since it contained the most details for the full series]

35-04-01 to 35-12-23; KLX [Oakland]; Two seasons of thirteen, 15-minute programs; Mondays, 8:15 p.m.
Syndication: Freeman Lang Studios syndication for Sidney S. Fox
Sponsors: 'Miracle Diamonds'; Gruen Watch Co.; Davidson and Licht Jewelry Co.; Kay Jewelers; Shaw's Jewelers; Barnett and Weiss Jewelry Co.
Director(s): Unknown
Principal Actors: Unknown
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s) Unknown
Music Direction:
Musical Theme(s): "Fascination" Composer: Fermo Dante Marchetti.
Announcer(s): Unknown
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
26
Episodes in Circulation: 26
Total Episodes in Collection: 26
Provenances:
Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

You're welcome to compare our fully provenanced research with the Diamond Dramas log from the '1,500 expert researchers' at the OTRR. We've also provided a screen shot of their current log for comparison, HERE, to protect our own due diligence.

Diamond Dramas has circulated with made-up dates, titles and sequence numbers since the 'invention' of commercial otr in the early 1970s as a means to exploit vintage Radio--nothing more, nothing less. It was purely and utterly a means to generate income for the, then, handful of former vintage Radio enthusiasts who saw a way to cash in on what has become millions of dollars of otr commerce selling inaccurately catalogued vintage Radio recordings.

Diamond Dramas is a poster child for the rampant proliferation of misinformation throughout the vintage Radio collecting hobby, especially during the last seven years. Diamond Dramas was indeed revived as late as the late 1940s, as a means to promote Jewelers' interests. It was a natural and brilliant tie-in. But the sketchy, elaborately fictional dates for the previously circulating canon of Diamond Dramas were almost farcical. None were backed by provenances, none were ever substantiated until we undertook to set the record straight, and the commercial otr community, remaining in utter denial as it does, stubbornly continues to refuse to accept the correct dating, sequencing, titles--or the history--behind the production.

Here's the down-low in a nutshell for the commercial otr deniers:

  • The entire canon of Diamond Dramas was actually recorded in 1926--fully 23 years before the OTRR cites their dates.
  • Diamond Dramas first aired as early as January 1934.
  • Diamond Dramas aired with provenanced announcements beginning on April 1, 1935.
  • With a single exception, every title we placed in our log below came from a widely published series of twenty-six complete, fully detailed spot ads for the run advertised in the Oakland Tribune.
  • If you're wondering how long the actual logging effort took--two hours from start to finish, and another day and a half to recreate all the spot ads, and write the article.

There are two of us at The Digital Deli Online. If two people could correct Diamond Dramas in two hours, how is it that the OTRR's widely touted 1,500 researchers haven't managed the same thing in seven years? Or, as must be obvious, they're simply misrepresenting the accuracy of their database.

There's entirely too much misinformation widely circulating regarding the wonderful Radio recordings from The Golden Age. It simply compounds the misinformation when a relatively small, but influential body of grandstanders continues to grossly misrepresent the information in their own "most accurate otr series database in the world." We've all been lied to enough over the past 10 years of this new century. We simply won't abide extending that pattern of deception to Radio History. Not on our watch, anyway.

What you see here, is what you get. Complete transparency. We have no 'credentials' whatsoever--in any way, shape, or form--in the 'otr community'--none. But here's how we did it--for better or worse. Here's how you can build on it yourselves--hopefully for the better. Here's the breadcrumbs--just follow the trail a bit further if you wish. No hobbled downloads. No misdirection. No posturing about our 'credentials.' No misrepresentations. No strings attached. We point you in the right direction and you're free to expand on it, extend it, use it however it best advances your efforts.

We ask one thing and one thing only--if you employ what we publish, attribute it, before we cite you on it.

We continue to provide honest research into these wonderful Golden Age Radio programs simply because we love to do it. If you feel that we've provided you with useful information or saved you some valuable time regarding this log--and you'd like to help us even further--you can help us keep going. Please consider a small donation here:

We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.







The Diamond Dramas Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
35-04-01
1
The Great Mogul
Y
35-04-01 Oakland Tribune
FIRST OF GREAT DIAMOND PLAYS ON AIR TONIGHT -- "
The Great Mogul" to Tell Romance of the Famous Diamonds of the World
35-04-08
2
The Austrian Yellow Diamond
Y
35-04-08 Oakland Tribune
The Austrian Yellow Diamond and how it shaped the course of history and moulded the destiny of a nation will be the basis of the second installment of "Diamond Dramas" presented from KLX, the radio broadcasting station of the Oakland Tribune, tonight, at 8:15 o'clock.
35-04-15
3
The Koh-i-noor
Y
35-04-15 Oakland Tribune
"
The Kohinoor," said to be the most famous of all the great diamonds yields the material for another of the "Diamond Drama" series being presented this evening at 8:15 over Station KLX, the broadcasting station of the Oakland Tribune.
35-04-22
4
The Diamond Ransom
Y
35-04-22 Oakland Tribune
Stolen gems and deep intrigue will form the theme for Diamond Dramas, to be presented from KLX tonidht, at 8:15 o'clock. The drama of diamonds will be called "
The Diamond Ransom." This feature, dealing with the history of the world's most famous precious stones, is presented under the auspices of Davidson and Licht Jewelry Company of Oakland.
35-04-29
5
The Diamond Medallion
Y
35-04-29 Oakland Tribune
Old Russia will be the setting for the Diamond Drama to be presented at 8:15 o'clock tonight, under the sponsorship of Davidson and Licht, Oakland jewelers. The play will be "
The Diamond Medallion," and will show how certain jewels changed the course of empire. The story is one of a series being presented based on actual fact stories of the world's important jewels.
35-05-06
6
The Miniature Diamond
Y
35-05-06 Oakland Tribune
Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Essex will be the leading characters in the Diamond Drama, "
The Miniature Diamond," to be presented under the auspices of the Davidson and Licht Jewelry Company from KLX this evening at 8:15 o'clock. This is the sixth drama in a series depicting the history of famous jewels and pieces of jewelry that have influenced world history.
35-05-13
7
I Have the Diamond
Y
35-05-13 Oakland Tribune
The history of the celebrated blue "Hope" diamond, which attracted first the fancy of Marie Antonnette, and which is supposed to bring bad luck to anyone who obtains possession of the brilliant stone will form the feature of Diamond Dramas to be presented from KLX tonight at 8:15 o'clock.
35-05-20
8
The Mighty Akbar
Y
35-05-20 Oakland Tribune
The Diamond Drama to be presented from KLX tonight at 8:15 o'clock will feature the tale "
The Mighty Akbar," story of the tremendous stone of India that was the greatest treasure of The Great Mogul, with the exception of his Wife.
35-05-27
9
My Son
Y
35-05-27 Oakland Tribune
The ninth in the series of Diamond Dramas will be presented from KLX this evening at 8:15 o'clock by the Davidson and Licht Jewelry Company. "
My Son" will be the title of tonight's story.
35-06-03
10
The Diamond Studs
Y
35-06-03 Oakland Tribune
How Anne of Austria outwitted Cardinal Richelieu who gossiped to her husband King Louis of France about her indiscreet gift to the dashing Duke of Buckingham is the theme in tonight's Diamond Drama, to be presented from KLX at 8:15 o'clock. The story is presented under the auspices of Davidson and Licht Oakland jewelers. This is the 10th in the series of dramas relating to famous jewels that have affected world history.
35-06-10
11
The Diamond Casket
Y
35-06-10 Oakland Tribune
The eleventh stirring episode in the history of precious stones and jewelery that has changed the course of history, that has in some cases caused thrones to topple and blond to flow, will be presented in Diamond Dramas from KLX at 8:15 o'clock tonight. Tonight's transcript is entitled
The Casket of Diamonds."
35-06-17
12
The Diamond Of Caesar Borgia
Y
35-06-17 Oakland Tribune
One of the few recorded instances of the misdirection of the jewelers art is found in the case of "
The Diamond of Caesar Borgia," from which tonight's Diamond Drama draws its name. The drama will be presented from KLX at 8:15 o'clock and is presented by Davidson and Licht local jewelers. The diamond was in a ring that was capable of injecting poison into the hand being shaken by the wearer.
35-06-24
13
The Three Diamonds
Y
35-06-24 Oakland Tribune
Three great diamonds--the Regent, the Sancy and the Blue Hope diamonds--will be featured in tonight's Diamond Drama series, presented from KLLX by Davidson and Licht, Oakland jewelers, at 8:15 o'clock. This is the thirteenth and last program of the present series of plays featuring gems that have made world history. A new series will be started from KLX this Fall.





35-09-30
1
The Blue Diamond
Y
-
35-10-07
2
The Little Gift
Y
35-10-07 Oakland Tribune
The Court of Louis XIV will be drawn upon again for a romantic Diamond Drama tonight, in the presentation which tells of "
The Little Gift," presented to a boyhood sweetheart of Louis XIV and how it was returned to him on his deathbed. The program will be presented from 8:15 to 8:30, by courtesy of the Davidson and Licht Jewelry Company of Oakland and the Gruen Watch Company.
35-10-14
3
The Pitt Diamond
Y
35-10-14 Oakland Tribune
"
The Pitt Diamond" is the title of the Diamond Drama to be presented over KLX tonight from 8:15 to 8:30.
35-10-21
4
The Orloff
Y
35-10-21 Oakland Tribune
"
The Orloff" is the title of the Diamond Drama to be heard tonight on KLX from 8:15 to 8:30.
35-10-28
5
The Diamond Necklace
Y
35-10-28 Oakland Tribune
The fifth play in the Diamond Dramas series will be heard tonight from 8:15 to 8:30. The title of tonight's drama is "
The Diamond Necklace."
35-11-04
6
The Highwayman's Diamond
Y
35-11-04 Oakland Tribune
Tonight's Diamond Drama, to be heard from 8:15 to 8:30 is titled "
The Highwayman's Diamond."
35-11-11
7
The Mad King
Y
35-11-11 Oakland Tribune
A royal lovers' quarrel, arising from a misunderstanding over a diamond ring and resulting in madness and death for King Ludwig of Bavaria, summarizes the story of "
The Mad King," tonight's Diamond Drama to be heard over KLX from 8:15 to 8:30.
35-11-18
8
The King's Astrologer
Y
35-11-18 Oakland Tribune
The superstitious king, whose fear of death triumphed over his greed for jewels, and a court astrologer who was beyond the king's imagination, take the leading role in "
The King's Astrologer," tonight's Diamond Drama over KLX, 8:15 to 8:30.
35-11-25
9
The Queen's Diamond Charm
Y
35-11-25 Oakland Tribune
The players in tonight's Diamond Drama give promise of reaching new historic heights when they present "
The Queen's Diamond Charm" over KLX from 8:15 to 8:30.
35-12-02
10
The Yellow Eye
Y
35-12-01 Oakland Tribune
(8:15) Diamond drama: "
The Yellow Eye."
35-12-09
11
The Diamond Smuggler
Y
35-12-09 Oakland Tribune
In tonight's "Diamond Drama on KLX, 8:15 to 8:30 titled "
The Diamond Smuggler," a dramatic version of one of the methods used by dishonest miners to smuggle diamounds out of the workings will be told.
35-12-16
12
The Sancy
Y
35-12-16 Oakland Tribune
Another highlight tonight will be the weekly Diamond Drama, to be heard from 8:15 to 8:30. The title of tonight's drama is "
The Sancy." It is the story of a diamond great enough to save the armies of France, a man brave enough to guard it with his life, and to protect it against his death. Tonight's drama will be the twelfth of the diamond series presented by courtesy of Davidson & Licht, Oakland Jewelers, and the Gruen Watch Company of Cincinnati.
35-12-23
13
Dreams Of Empire
Y
35-12-23 Oakland Tribune
The concluding play in the Winter series of Diamond Dramas will be heard on KLX tonight from 8:15 to 8:30. The title of tonight's play is "
Dreams of Empire," and it deals with an historic incident in the lives of Napoleon and his empress Josephine, delving deep into the history of that time.






The Diamond Dramas Radio Program Biographies




Sidney S. Fox
(Creator/Producer)

(1889-1980)

Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

Education: Harvard, Munich and Paris Art Institutes

Radiography:
1934 Diamond Dramas
Sidney S. Fox on the occasion of the 1st 'birthday' of Salt Lake television station K-D-Y-L circa 1940
Sidney S. Fox on the occasion of the 1st 'birthday' of Salt Lake television station K-D-Y-L circa 1940

KDYL's 1935 Promotional copy for Broadcasting Magazine
KDYL's 1935 Promotional copy for Broadcasting Magazine

KDYL logo circa 1946
KDYL logo circa 1946
Sidney Fox was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He did not enjoy school as a boy, but rather showed an early interest in show business, and occasionally performed a small vaudeville act in local saloons. He was a good dancer, but abandoned a performing career because dancing was his only talent. He wanted to retain a show business connection, so he got a job as an usher in a vaudeville theater. His career as an usher was short-lived however, because his parents wished him to further pursue his education. He quit his night job and found employment during the day. He attended night school for about three years, working at the St. Louis Post Dispatch as a copy boy and also working as aclerk and as a bookkeeper.

Fox moved to Denver, Colorado for medical reasons at age seventeen. He met Al Hirschfield, who later became his employer. Fox represented Hirschfield's printing business by taking orders for business cards in Denver's Assignation District, which housed about five hundred prostitutes--and was a popular section of town for miners and other men in the city. Fox's task was to sell business cards to prostitutes.

Eight years later, Fox began working for Pathé and Selig Essenay Film Distributors, securing theater contracts for the firms throughout the country. He later moved into the state rights motion picture distribution business.

By 1919, Fox was living in Denver, but visited Salt Lake City with increasing frquency. He was once invited to go on a business trip to Pocatello, Idaho, where he met a business contact, Eva Provol, at the Bannock Hotel. Fox subsequently married Eva Provol in July of 1919. She was a widow with five children. Once they were married, Fox transferred his film distribution office from Denver to Salt Lake City.

Fox and his wife eventually honeymooned in Los Angeles during 1922. Some time later they returned to Los Angeles, bought a house, and Fox dabbled in real estate. When the market slowed there, Eva returned to Salt Lake City, while Sidney went to Florida to exploit the real estate boom there.

Fox returned to Salt Lake City in 1925. By 1926 Fox had assembled the capital to found Miracle Diamonds, Incorporated. The company produced and marketed a laxative called "Miracle Diamonds," made from the dried salt crystals of the Great Salt Lake. It was similar to a competing product already called "Crazy Crystals."

Fox also planned to produce a series of radio programs about famous diamonds in order to market the laxative crystals. He hired writers to research the history of famous diamonds, write the scripts, and Fox would ultimately sell the programs to radio stations. The stations could then sell the programs to jewelers or others who had an interest in promoting diamonds.

Fox created and produced 26 radio shows about famous diamonds at a cost of a reported $35,000. Shortly thereafter, Fox received notice from the Postal Department (as did the Crazy Crystals company), concerning the advertising and packaging of their laxative products. Owing to the increased scrutiny, Fox subsequently withdrew from the corporation, taking with him the 26 radio programs. He was ultimately able to successfully market the shows to 700 radio stations across the country, both recovering his original investment, and a $7,000 profit to boot.

In 1927 Fox was approached by Fred Provol, his stepson, and president and major stockholder of the Intermountain Broadcasting Corporation, for help with a struggling radio station. Fox agreed to reorganize the Corporation later that year. Upon examination of the station's books, the net asset value of station KDYL was determined at $4,000. With the help of Gene O'Fallon of KOA in Denver, Fox established an Operating License account in the amount of $11,000.

By 1930, KDYL was showing a profit of $14,000 and Fox was drawing a salary of a similar amount. The Intermountain Broadcasting Corporation's Operating License account increased from $11,000 in 1927 to over $98,000 in 1930. By December of that year, Fox and his wife owned almost all of the outstanding stock. Fox was also responsible for the financial records of the station, which made it possible for him to draw the salary of his choosing.

During an examination by the Internal Revenue Service in 1931, Fox claimed that withdrawals were made to cover customer entertainment expenses, over and above the amounts shown to cover traveling expenses and Christmas gifts. The Internal Revenue Service viewed this as acceptable, but determined that the salary Fox had drawn was much higher than amounts paid by similar corporations. The IRS ordered Fox to return all amounts drawn in excess of $10,000 during 1929 and 1930 to the International Broadcasting Corporation.

KDYL opened its KDYL Playhouse in 1938, a 350 seat theatre for live radio broadcasts in the remodeled Masonic Temple at the corner of First South and Second East in Salt Lake City. It was subsequently closed in 1944.

In September 1939, NBC installed an early demonstration television camera unit in the ZCMI department store, and offered public demonstrations for three weeks. The unit was also demonstrated at the Utah State Fair for the next two years. KDYL and NBC made plans to modify the equipment for over the air use, but the Japanese attacks at Pearl Harbor brought all such plans to a halt. The War Production Board placed a temporary hold on the sale of television broadcasting equipment by regular manufacturers during the war.

During the interim, the engineering department at KDYL spent the next few years modifying the closed circuit equipment for use with a television broadcast transmitter. The transmitter was built by the station's engineers with parts acquired from all over the United States. With such advance testing already having been accomplished, KDYL was ready to begin television broadcasting as soon as the war ended.

By September of 1945, KDYL was the first independent television station to broadcast test patterns in the United States.

Fox was frequently recognized as a philanthropist. He contributed regularly to charities, organized parties for children at Shriners Hospital, and in several instances, paid for employee medical expenses. Unfortunately, Fox was also recognized as having a compulsion for gambling that began in 1942. Over a twenty five year period, his losses amounted to $1.5 million. He also lost his wife, Eva Provol Fox in 1947. He subsequently married Zelda McQuarrie in 1949.

KDYL television eventually began regular daily transmission on April 19, 1948--the first privately owned television station in the United States (the other twelve were owned by manufacturers, newspapers, experimental laboratories, and the motion picture industry), and the first television station between Chicago and Los Angeles. By 1952, KDYL TV was serving its audience with more than 100 hours of programming, 9:30 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. The station had one of the longest schedules in the nation.

By early 1953, rumors started to circulate about the sale of the KDYL stations to Time Incorporated. Arrangements were made in March of that year for Time Incorporated to purchase the KDYL stations, pending FCC approval. In all, the Fox family owned 93 percent of the common stock. The FCC authorized the sale and transfer of the properties of the Intermountain Broadcasting and Television Corporation to TLF Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time Incorporated, on June 25, 1953, for $2.1 million.

During the summer of 1958, Fox announced the formation of a corporation in assocation with Alan Marquis, a Hollywood producer. Fox Marquis Productions though ultimately short-lived, had been organized to produce films for television.

During the 1960s Fox's gambling losses were steadily increasing, and he made several abortive attempts to gain control over his gambling by reading books and articles about reformed gamblers. Indeed, by 1963 his losses decreased to $44,000. The following year Zelda McQuarrie Fox died of a congenital heart condition.

Fox was virtually broke by the early 1970s, his only source of income remaining was his Social Security pension. In 1972 a group of anonymous supporters began monthly contributions to help Fox, handled by Fox's lawyer and long time friend, Calvin Rawlings. Rawlings managed Fox's finances throughout the 1970s, even holding some money aside for Fox's funeral.

Fox died March 3, 1980, in a Salt Lake City nursing home of natural causes at age ninety one.




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