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Radio and Television: Introduction

The Role of Advertising in the Early Development of Radio and Television

Lux Radio Theater Ad


As one of the largest advertising history collections in the world, the Hartman Center has built a reputation for its resources documenting advertising, sales and marketing. The Hartman Center maintains the records of several advertising agencies and trade organizations, the professional papers of various marketing executives, collections of advertising ephemera created by private collectors, and a growing library of related books and periodicals.

This guide highlights collections at the Hartman Center pertaining primarily to the development of radio and television as an advertising medium in the twentieth-century United States, including the transition from radio to TV and the development of marketing strategies specifically geared for radio and TV audiences. The collections reveal the persistent technological and cultural challenges associated with advertising and new media.


For examples of print advertisements of radios and television sets, the Ad*Access collection contains over 1,000 digitized print advertisements categorized as either "Radio" or "Television."