First announced Adventurers Club program in a 15-minute format remarkably similar to The World Adventurers Club from Indiana Evening Gazette June 13 1930
The Elgin-sponsored Adventurers' Club spot ad featuring Floyd Gibbons over NBC from October 14 1932
War Correspondent and adventurer Floyd Gibbons popularized the adventure story in film shorts, over Radio and in syndicated print features (here circa 1935)
Adventure film shorts and features were some of the most popular fare at the triple-bill movie theatres of post-Depression America. The adventures of Frank Buck, Crash Corrigan, Tarzan, Jungle Jim and Clyde Beatty could be found over Radio, in film serials, and on the earliest Television sets. Stirring pulp adventure novels from the turn of the century on through the 1930s and 1940s fired the imagination of would-be adventurers--young and old--throughout most of the civilized world.
Sitting atop the pecking order of world adventurers, the various Adventurers Clubs, Explorers Clubs, and Geographic Societies of England, Germany, France, the Orient, and America presided over their respective nations' most intrepid and herioc adventurers. Most of the organized clubs went to great lengths to compete for the first reports of these world adventurers within days or weeks of completing their independent trimphs of derring-do. Indeed, several of those clubs funded some of the more challenging adventures--and adventurers--of the era. Fiction novels were famous for citing the underwriting of one or more Adventurers Clubs as the framework behind novels such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around The World in Eighty Days, and Journey to The Center of The Earth.
The organized adventurers' clubs, in addition to underwriting adventures of their own, provided venues throughout the world for vetting--and exploiting--the more important accomplishments and discoveries of their era.
This was pure escapism and romance at its best. Man--or woman--against the elements . . .:
. . . against the wildest and most dangerous beasts of the world
. . . scaling the highest mountains
. . . traversing the greatest extremes of the Poles and vast deserts of China, Arabia and North Africa
. . . excavating the tombs of the Pharoahs in the Middle East and the ancient temples of the kings of Central and South America, as well as Indonesia
. . . trekking into the deepest jungles of the world's continents
and braving--and conquering--the mysteries of the Seven Seas.
More importantly to potential sponsors and networks alike, this was highly intoxicating fare for the pre-Television adventure fans throughout the world.
On the big screen, 'adventurers' as unlikely as Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, and Harold Lloyd, among many others, continued to strike 'viewer gold' with even the most unlikely adventures. And of course the most thrilling adventure films of the era--Trader Horn and King Kong--riveted escapist America to their seats in movie palaces across the country.
The Radio waves of the era were treated to at least four separate Adventurers Club programs between 1930 and 1937:
- The Adventurers Club
- The Elgin Adventurers Club
- The Stamp Adventurers Club
- Strange Adventures
The World Adventurers Club brings high adventure to Radio
The concept of 'creating a buzz' over a commodity, a hot stock, a movement, political figure, or Film starlet wasn't nearly as sophisticated in the 1930s as it's become today, but it was by no means unsophisticated. Some of the greatest promoters of the era wrote detailed, highly scientific volumes about how to create interest in virtually anything that might capture the imagination of the public.
The Transcription Corporation of America (Transco) created an estimated fifty-two installments of their program titled, The World Adventurers Club. The first broadcasts of The World Adventurers Club appear to have aired on the East Coast as early as June of 1930, on the West Coast as early as 1933, and throughout the world as late as 1937-1939, variously retitled or repackaged Strange Adventures or Strange Adventures In Strange Lands.
Through either serendipity or by design, noted adventurer, war correspondent, bombast, and international adventure chronicler, Floyd Gibbons, aired his own Adventurers' Club over NBC in early 1932. The Elgin Watch Company-sponsored half-hour format invited listeners to send in their own adventures and Gibbons would select the most interesting for his weekly program. He later began syndicating a weekly feature in newspapers throughout the country titled, The World Adventurers Club. Each syndicated supplement would highlight a specific adventure or adventurer and their exploits. Many of the more popular adventures were the same adventures syndicated in the 1930s Radio feature initially titled, The World Adventurers Club: Strange Adventures In Strange Lands.
|RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.
Notes on Provenances:
The most helpful provenances were the log of the radioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.
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 are 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.
[Date, title, and episode column annotations in red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]