The Library of Congress >  Researchers >  Search Finding Aids  >  Allen Prescott collection, 1930-1968
Series 1. Radio Scripts, 1933-1948 , and undated
8 folders
RPA 00323 (box 1)
Series 1 contains scripts of Prescott’s radio programs, The Wife Saver and New York Tonight, as well as scripts for commercials. The Wife Saver scripts date from 1933 to 1945, and the five New York Tonight scripts are from June, 1948. Commercials are for A.E. Staley Mfg. Company and Martinson’s Coffee. The miscellaneous scripts folder includes commercials for the Detroit Motor Company, the Girard Company (makers of Dagger Blades), the Gillette Company (maker of Sun Up aftershave), Sta-Puf fabric softener, and Mohawk carpets.
BOX-FOLDER 1/1 The Wife Saver, 1933-1935, 1938-1939, 1940
BOX-FOLDER 1/2 The Wife Saver, 1941, 1945
BOX-FOLDER 1/3 The Wife Saver, undated
BOX-FOLDER 1/4 The Wife Saver, A.E. Staley Mfg. Company commercials, undated
BOX-FOLDER 1/5 Martinson’s Coffee commercials, undated
BOX-FOLDER 1/6 Miscellaneous commercials, undated
BOX-FOLDER 1/7 Miscellaneous scripts and sample shows, undated
BOX-FOLDER 1/8 New York Tonight, 1948
Series 2. Household Hints, 1953-1954 , and undated
2 folders
RPA 00323 (box 1)
The Wife Saver radio program gave housewives helpful advice, much of it that had been sent in from listeners all over the United States. This series contains letters and postcards dating from 1953 and 1954. Memos from station WFIL in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, also contain many recommendations used by Prescott. A booklet, the Wife Saver Handy Book, a collection of household hints published by the Blue Network of NBC in 1950, and one folder of miscellaneous material are included in this series as well.
BOX-FOLDER 1/9 Household hints used on program, 1953-1954, and undated
BOX-FOLDER 1/10 Miscellaneous household hints, undated
Series 3. Correspondence and Fan Mail, 1930 , 1932 , 1936-1937 , 1968 , and undated
1 folder
RPA 00323 (box 1)
This small series contains correspondence with a listener, as well as letters from radio personalities such as Ted Husing and A.L. Alexander, NBC management, publishers, and his mother, Mrs. J.A. Prescott (one letter). Business invoices are also included.
BOX-FOLDER 1/11 Correspondence and fan mail, 1930, 1932, 1936-1937, 1968, and undated
Series 4. Newspaper Clippings, 1932 , 1938
1 folder
RPA 00323 (box 1)
The majority of clippings in this series is from 1938, when Prescott was mentioned in many newspaper columns, including “In New York,” “Radio Dial Log,” “Dialing with Doyle,” and “Walter Winchell on Broadway.” Most newspaper clippings in this series have been photocopied onto acid free paper. Many more newspaper articles about Prescott will be found in his scrapbooks in Series 7.
BOX-FOLDER 1/12 Newspaper clippings, 1932, 1938
Series 5. Writings, undated
8 folders
RPA 00324 (box 2)
This series contains typescripts of unpublished novels and short stories. Included are nine chapters from an unpublished novel, The Corinthian Class, four chapters and a synopsis from another novel, Goode Knight, and synopses from short stories, “Don’t Just Do Something; Sit There,” “Stay in Your Own Bed,” and “Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Baby Bear.” There is also one folder of an interview Prescott conducted with entertainer Steve Allen and another folder of material for an unpublished book, The Wife saver, a Household Hand Book and Wives’ Companion.
BOX-FOLDER 2/1 The Wife Saver, additional sections, undated
BOX-FOLDER 2/2 The Corinthian Class, chapters I-V, undated
BOX-FOLDER 2/3 The Corinthian Class, chapters VI-IX, undated
BOX-FOLDER 2/4 Goode Knight, undated
BOX-FOLDER 2/5 “Don’t Just Do Something; Sit There,” undated
BOX-FOLDER 2/6 "Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Baby Bear," undated
BOX-FOLDER 2/7 "Stay in Your Own Bed," undated
BOX-FOLDER 2/8 Interview with Steve Allen, undated
Series 6. Photographs, 1930 , 1932 , 1949 , 1953 , and undated
63 photographic prints (2 folders, 1 oversize box)
RPA 00324 (box 2); RPD 00011 (box 3)
This series contains 63 photographs. Prescott appears in studio portraits as well as publicity photos, both alone and with other radio personalities and work associates. Personalities include Fran Allison, Rex Stout, Graham McNamee, Ted Husing, and Ace Pancoast. There are also six photos from Prescott’s military service during World War II, when he was attached to Fleet Air Wing 4 and stationed in the Aleutian Islands. Photographs located in the oversize box include portraits, two photographs of Prescott and his mother, and many photographs of Prescott posing with unidentified colleagues. Most of the photographs are undated and unidentified.
BOX-FOLDER 2/9 Photographs, 1932 and undated
BOX-FOLDER 2/10 Photographs, 1930, 1949, 1953, and undated
BOX-FOLDER 2/10 Allen Prescott publicity photograph, between 1930 and 1939
1 photographic print
Digital content available
BOX 3 Oversize photographs, undated
Series 7. Scrapbooks, 1930-1932 , 1939
1 oversize box
RPC 00007 (box 4)
This series includes two scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, magazine articles, photographs, and other ephemera. The larger of the two scrapbooks is made from a promotional magazine published by the Studebaker Car Company that has newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and photographs pasted onto its pages. The other scrapbook consists of newspaper clippings from 1939. Both are in very poor condition.
BOX 4 Scrapbooks, 1930-1932, 1939
Series 8. Sound Recordings, 1965 , and undated
6 sound tape reels
RXA 2480–2485
A digital version of the audiotapes is available for listening in the Recorded Sound Research Center, National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 20540-4690; (202) 707-7833. Format of access copy: Broadcast Wave (BWF), 44.1 kHz, 16 bits per sample (made from preservation copy: Broadcast Wave (BWF), 96 kHz, 24 bits per sample).
This series consists of six sound recordings on 7-inch reels. Included are undated Wife Saver radio programs and brief announcements, experimental spots, and audition pieces for a program called As a Matter of Fact.
REEL RXA 2480 The Wife Saver, undated
Prescott, Allen
1 sound tape reel (20 minutes, 40 seconds)
Title on original container: "Monitor-The Wifesaver."
Consists of a series of household hint "talks," each about one minute long, delivered by Allen Prescott. Every piece begins with the sound of a ringing doorbell and the introductory line, "Hello, girls, this is Allen Prescott, the Wife Saver," and ends with, "Mrs. Housewife, I hope there's nothing burning." No guests and no music are featured, just Prescott delivering household hints with a touch of humor.
Handwritten description on original container: "About 15 one-minute talks."
REEL RXA 2481 As a Matter of Fact, 1965-03-16
Prescott, Allen
1 sound tape reel (2 minutes, 36 seconds)
Allen Prescott introduces himself and announces an Everlasting Dagger Blades commercial that includes descriptions of several historical and technological phenomena, each introduced by the phrase, "As a matter of fact...." In the next track, Prescott introduces himself and delivers a Rock of Ages Bank and Trust Co. commercial that includes descriptions of several historical and technological phenomena, each introduced by the phrase, "As a matter of fact...." The third track consists of a very brief, unidentified segment of an unaccompanied choral performance.
Description on original container: "4 one minute audition (?) talks."
REEL RXA 2482 The Wife Saver, undated
Prescott, Allen
on 1 sound tape reel (3 minutes, 44 seconds)
Four brief Wife Saver pieces, with a total duration of 03:44.
Wife Saver pieces (about one minute each in duration) each begin with the introduction, "Hello, this is Allen Prescott, the Wife Saver." Household hints, interspersed with wry comments, include suggested methods for keeping "baby" safe while "parked" on the sofa, opening bottles of soda water, hanging wallpaper, and deterring moles.
The Wife Saver material is followed on the tape by two examples of a proposed series entitled As a Matter of Fact.
REEL RXA 2482 As a Matter of Fact, undated
Prescott, Allen
on 1 sound tape reel (2 minutes, 29 seconds)
Allen Prescott introduces an idea for "a series of fillers" entitled As a Matter of Fact. Similar to the light, comedic treatment of useful information that characterizes his Wife Saver program, Prescott remarks that As a Matter of Fact expands "from the household to a broader field." Two sample pieces include brief descriptions of the use of feathers for money, an ancient game, connecting rods, the secret ballot, and the oldest known fossils of beetles. Both pieces end with the phrase " a matter of fact."
The As a Matter of Fact material is preceded on the tape by four brief Wife Saver pieces.
REEL RXA 2483 The Wife Saver, undated
Prescott, Allen
on 1 sound tape reel (3 minutes, 44 seconds)
The content is identical to The Wife Saver material on the preceding tape, RXA 2482.
REEL RXA 2483 As a Matter of Fact, undated
Prescott, Allen
on 1 sound tape reel (2 minutes, 29 seconds)
The content is identical to As a Matter of Fact material on the preceding tape, RXA 2482.
REEL RXA 2484 The Wife Saver, undated
Prescott, Allen
1 sound tape reel (9 minutes, 31 seconds)
In the first of two brief Wife Saver programs, announcer Allen Prescott offers a number of household hints, such as how to freshen a black silk dress, freezing nylon stockings for longer wear, whipping cream, and removing lime deposits from tea kettles; also included are commercials for General Electric coffee makers and toasters. In the second program, Prescott offers household hints concerning "our war with inanimate objects," such as coping with "vacuum cleaner fuddle," wearing clip earrings, peeling oranges with a spoon, keeping slacks in shape, keeping "baby" safe when "parked" on the sofa, and serving mussels; commercials are for General Electric portable vacuum cleaners, toasters, and coffee makers.
Description on original container: "2 five-minute shows for General Electric."
REEL RXA 2485 The Wife Saver experimental spots, undated
Prescott, Allen
1 sound tape reel (15 minutes, 40 seconds)
The tape contains four Wife Saver programs, each less than five minutes in duration, and a separately presented commercial. At the beginning of each program, announcer Allen Prescott introduces himself as the Wife Saver. In the first program, he makes suggestions to use moleskin to make clip earrings more comfortable, peel oranges with a spoon, hang slacks by the pockets to dry, keep "baby" safe when "parked" on the sofa, and button cuffs to the front of a shirt before washing; commercials are for Sta-Puf fabric softener and Sta-Flow spray starch. In the second program, he provides tips on adding hot soup to a cold meal, making a slip-free tie rack, reducing the amount of luggage needed for overseas travel, using eyeliner, peeling cooked eggs, and cleaning a dirty oven with a towel soaked in ammonia; commercials are for Sta-Flow and Sta-Puf.
In the third program, Prescott offers hints on freshening a black silk dress, freezing nylon stockings for longer wear, keeping rabbits away from the garden, whipping cream, removing lime deposits from tea kettles, grating chocolate safely, and keeping moths away from stored yarn; commercials are for Sta-Flow and Blue Raindrops water softener. In the fourth program, which is several minutes shorter than the first three, Prescott offers a household tip on stopping squeaks in doors and delivers a Sta-Flow commercial. The fifth track, not a program, is a 30-second commercial for Sta-Flow.
Description on original container: "15 minutes, audition (?) recording for A.E. Staley" (maker of Sta-Puf and Sta-Flow laundry products, and sponsor of the program).

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