Named best public affairs radio program in the metropolitan area by the Illinois Associated Press in 1957, Ear on Chicago ran from 1955 to 1958 as a series of half-hour documentaries (130 episodes) produced in cooperation with WBBM radio, a CBS affiliate. Of these 130 episodes, IIT archives houses 114 on Scotch and Soundcraft Corporation brand seven-inch open reel tapes that were mono recorded at the standard speed of 7½ ips. The episodes cover a wide range of topics related to the arts and industry in 1950s Chicago, and featured many Chicago businesses, including Peoples Gaslight and Coke, Chicago Transit Authority, and Chicago Sun Times, as well as attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago, Cominskey Park, and Chicago Historical Society. Based on documents found in the IIT archives and articles from local newspapers, we know the programs were produced, recorded, and edited by John B. Buckstaff, supervisor of radio and television at IIT; narrated by Fahey Flynn, a noted Chicago newscaster, and Hugh Hill, special events director of WBBM (later, a well-known Chicago television news anchor); coordinated by Herb Grayson, WBBM director of information services; and distributed to Purdue University, Indiana University, University of Illinois, State University of Iowa, Michigan State University, DePauw University, and Iowa State College for later rebroadcast.

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