Final Project

December 15th, 2011

Throughout this entire semester, we as a class have studied many forms of communication.  We have discussed cave paintings and the beating of drums all the way up to the current day iphones and social networking media.  However, we were not able to cover everything.  One of those forms of communication that was never mentioned was the pamphlet.  The pamphlet is a small informational piece that provides some sort of information to the reader.  They were pertinent in American History during
several eras.  However, they were extremely important for the colonies during the Revolutionary Period from about 1730 to 1780.

The most famous pamphlet during this era might have been written by Thomas
Paine.  Common Sense was a pamphlet written in 1776 that literally could alone spark the Revolution.  Over the course of the pamphlet, Paine attacked Britain for all the atrocities that the “Mother Country” had committed.  What was amazing
about this piece is that Continental Congressmen brought home copies of Common Sense to families across the continent.  In fact, South Carolina
delegate Christopher Gadsen passed out the pamphlet while carrying the famous
yellow flag that read “Don’t Tread on Me,” while reading Paine’s pamphlet.  It may have outraged many Loyalists, but from Gadsen to Jon and Samuel Adams in Boston, Common
was everything to them in order to persuade the colonists to start a
war.  The pamphlet went across countrysides, rallying the cause to start a war.[1]

One of the pamphlets that became famous for a different reason was Thomas Whately’s
letters concerning the Stamp Act of 1765. Whately was an English politician who wrote letters in Britain discussing the fairness of the Stamp Act. Of course theses letters were compiled into pamphlets in the colonies, and were then passed out around taverns for colonists to read.  The problem with Whately’s pamphlet was that it showed the mistake the British made: it made it clear that the colonists were not even given the opportunity
to tax themselves.  This of course angered the colonists, and this lead to many problems for the British trying to govern this tax law.[2]

Another Revolutionary pamphleteer is James Otis of Massachusetts.  Now, Otis did write many pamphlets, but what made his pamphlets famous was the speech he gave on the Writs of Assistance in 1761.  Former President John Adams said that Otis “…was a flame of fire.  With a promptitude of classical allusions, a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical events and dates, a profusion of legal authorities…he carried away all before him.”[3]  Otis was a great speaker and his words after his most famous speech was put into a pamphlet in the colonies.  By defending the merchants against the Crown Lawyers (royal British lawyers), Otis in the pamphlets became another fixture of hope towards breaking away from Britain, and the pamphlets circulated the colonies as a reminder of that.[4]

“If they had, and I imagine no American will fay, they had not, then the parliament
had no right to compel them to execute it.”[5]  Spoken by John Dickinson, these words echoed in his letters as colonists grew tired of the abuses of the British.  From 1767 to 1768, Dickinson’s works were reprinted into pamphlets in the 13 colonies, specifically discussing the Townshend Acts.  Dickinson took the role of a regular farmer, but using his intellect, told a persuading tale of how Britain’s overbearing rule on the colonies was affecting this particular person’s livelihood.  For several years, his works were constantly looked at for their perspective, but also for the fact that they told an intriguing tale.[6]

Now, pamphlets are seen everywhere in America today.  They are small, compact, and provide great amounts of information.  But when this nation was first starting, pamphlets were used as an extremely powerful tool to will the colonists to fight back against the British.  During my research, I was not able to find statistics on this particular area for the amount of pamphlets produced, but many quotes were found coming from former Congressmen and Presidents during this era.  These pamphlets were used as a
war cry, a spark to fight for a much greater cause than some of us realize.  Had it not been for these pamphlets, they may not have been enough supporters to fight back against Great Britain.  That would definitely change how the world is today.

[1] Harvey J. Kaye, Thomas Paine and the Promise of America (London: Macmillan Publisers, 2006), 50-56.

[2] Edmund Sears Morgan, The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue to Revolution (Chapel Hill: UNC Press Books, 1995),50-64.

[3] James Otis, Famous Orators of the World and Their Best Orations (Philadelphia: J.C. Winston Company, 1902), 23.

[4] Ibid., 23-25.

[5] John Dickinson, Letters From a Farmer, in Pennsylvania, to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies (London: Oxford University Press, 1774), 8-9.

[6] John Dickinson, The Writings of John Dickinson: Political Writings 1764-1774 Volume 1 (Philadelphia: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1895), 279-287.


Digital Storytelling 106 Documentary

December 15th, 2011
Digital Storytelling 106 is a Computer Science class that was created and is headquartered at the University of Mary Washington. Prior to 2010, the class was taught by University adjunct Professor Alan Dean. Dean’s approach to the class was focused primarily on the art of storytelling, and secondly on the technology used to convey those stories. In 2010, Jim Groom, an Instructional Technologist in the Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies, was asked to take over additional sections of the class. Groom’s conceptualization of DS106 was that of a creative, collaborative online community. Because the class already relied heavily on Web technologies, Groom opened his section of the course up to the broader online community. In Groom’s massive open online course, individuals on the Internet are able to recommend and complete various assignments and contribute to the class without being enrolled at the University of Mary Washington.  This entirely novel conceptualization of what constitutes a “class” has taken DS106 in fascinating and unique directions, including DS Radio and a short-lived DS Television Station, as well as a freewheeling summer murder mystery known as the “Summer of Oblivion.” In this documentary, Jim Groom and Alan Dean, as well as a variety of former students and interested faculty, discuss the history, implications, and future of DS106. Bibliography: Burtis, Martha. Interviewed by Caitlin Murphy and Nicole Steck, December 10 , 2011, DuPont Hall, Fredericksburg, Va. Dean, Alan. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 14, 2011, Dean residence, Prince George, Va. Ellis, Leigh Ann. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 13, 2011, Ellis residence, Fredericksburg, Va. Girard, Charlie. Interviewed by Caitlin Murphy, November 28, 2011, Monroe Hall, Fredericksburg, Va. Groom, Jim. Interviewed by Nicole Steck and Caitlin Murphy, December 10, 2011 , Groom residence, Fredericksburg, Va. Owens, Tim. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 14, 2011, DuPont Hall, Fredericksburg, Va. Whalen, Zach. Interviewed by Caitlin Murphy, December 13, 2011, Combs Hall, Fredericksburg, Va. Woodward, Tom. Interviewed by Joe Calpin, December 3, 2011, Henrico County School, Henrico, Va.
Image Sources:

Radio Broadcasting Commercials throughout the 20th Century

December 15th, 2011

Only a few years after the first radio broadcasting proved a success, businesses began utilizing this new form of broadcasting information out to the public.  By promoting commodities and material goods over radio waves, companies could cover a greater area of listeners at all times of the day and night.  Since the early 1920s, companies all across the United States have employed the services of radio broadcasting stations to get there products and services out on the market and directly to the listeners.  Over the decades since, the styles and formats of these radio commercials have adapted and changed to the times and the people listening.  While commercials have been updated over the years, there are two distinct periods that can classify two different types of radio advertising: pre multi-sponsored advertising and post multi-sponsored advertising.

The advent of radio communication marked a new beginning for advertising.  During its humble beginnings, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover claimed it was “inconceivable that we should allow so great a possibility for service and for news…to be drowned in advertising chatter.”[1]  Therefore corporate sponsors could not directly advertise their product to the people.  However, advertisers were able to find loopholes in this clause.  The basic ways to bend the broadcasting rules were for advertisers to sponsor an entire show and drop indirect hints of their product throughout the program.  The first commercial ever on radio airwaves included a 10 minute radio program discussing an apartment complex called Hawthorne Heights by a Queensboro Corporation representative.  During the program, the representative never discussed the pricings of the apartment complex.  The representative simply advertised “a life away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.”[2]  Not only did Hoover condone the use of direct sponsorship over the air, corporate sponsors were fearful direct advertising would alienate listeners.[3]  In a certain case, the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet company hosted a Palmolive Variety Hour, featuring two singers called Paul Oliver and Olive Palmer.[4]  The sponsor was indirectly advertising the Palmolive product by fusing the product and the program.[5]  This style of advertisement was popular throughout the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, but as the prevalence of FM radio took hold during the 50s and especially the 60s, a movement towards multi-sponsored advertising took hold.

FM radio began to become more popular and listeners of a new generation began to express the need for broadcasting certain genres of music on the radio waves.  Instead of broadcasting variety shows and competing with television, radio stations broadcasted rock and roll music among other genres to Americans across the country.  Corporations picked up on the transformation and sought to promote their products on multiple frequencies throughout the entire day.  However, more sponsors meant less air time for each commercial so it’s no surprise that the length of the commercials decreased.  Starting in the 60s and 70s, commercials averaged under a minute and normally ended around 30 second mark.  Advertisers needed to become creative and add more than just a jingle to their commercials.  Commercials started to take on comedic qualities or tried to act more conversational as opposed to previous commercials where companies utilized experts in certain fields to persuade consumers.  In a Toyota commercial from the 1970s a man is taken on a driver’s test that goes awry when the driver gets a little dangerous.  Another mean of advertising included the usage of celebrities in commercials.  N’Sync was used on a Chili’s commercial and Britney Spears was used in a Pepsi ad during the 90s and 00s.  The necessity for companies to stay current with popular trends and culture took hold of advertising and weaponized comedy and pop-culture icons as talking advertisements.

Radio has recently taken the backburner to many other modes of communication and advertising including television and the internet.  However, radio is still an important tool for companies to communicate to a mass number of people.  While virtually all radio stations practice the multi-sponsored form of advertising, this technique proves beneficial to listeners, companies, and radio stations.  Listeners hear more of a variety of advertisements including certain local events that can be entertaining, companies can advertise using several radio stations and throughout the day instead of just during their sponsored show, and radio stations can receive more money from competing corporations for shorter time slots.  Radio broadcasting has still proven itself to be an effective means of communication to a large, populated area and the evolution of broadcasting from its primitive forms of the 1920s benefit listeners, companies, and radio stations alike.



Blackwell, H.M. Hawthorne Court Apartments, 1922., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Bartlett, Tommy. Cheer, 1953., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Collyer, Clayton. Duz, 1951., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Downey, Gregory. Technology and Communication in American History (American Historical Association, New York: 2011).


Holden, Jack. Alka Seltzer, 1933., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Kawasaki, 1976,, (accessed December 14, 2011).

Lifebuoy, 1945,, (accessed December 14, 2011).

Marx, Richard. Trojan Condoms, n.d., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Newman, Kathy. Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947 (University of California Press, Los Angeles: 2004).

N’Sync, Chili’s Babyback Ribs, 2000,, (accessed December 14, 2011).

Quartet, The Wheaties. Have You Tried Wheaties, 1926., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Real American Heroes, Mr. Chinese Food Delivery Guy, 2000,, (accessed December 14, 2011).

Spears, Britney. Joy of Pepsi, 2002., (accessed December 14, 2011).

Toyota, 1975,, (accessed December 14, 2011).

[1]               Gregory Downey, Technology and Communication in American History (American Historical Association, 2011), 36; for more information see Margaret Graham, “The Threshold of the Information Age: Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures Mobilize the Nation,” in A Nation Transformed by Information: How Information has Shaped the United States from Colonial Times to the Present, ed. Alfred D. Chandler Jr. and James W. Cortada (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 137-75

[2]               H.M. Blackwell, Hawthorne Court Apartments, 1922,

[3]           Kathy Newman, Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947 (University of California Press, 2004), 27.

[4]               Ibid.

[5]               Ibid.

Final Project-Working on the Timeline

December 14th, 2011

For my final project on the Information Age I took on the task of adding more images to our timeline. I also kept track of all sources and put them in a basic citation for Abbey and Christine to check and standardize. I was a little surprised at how much time this really took. I sat for hours going through each post looking for any image that would be cohesive with the original post. I also took the opportunity to add a video into the “Youtube Founded” post that I had found early in the semester for our documentary project. I thought it would be helpful to see the evolution of Youtube over its first five years. I used a variety of sources to find these images as well. I believe that I added as many images as I could, as some posts had dates that were too early (BCE dates), and for some posts I just could’t find images that could support the information stated. Overall though, I added a total 89 images to the 240 total posts.

Week 16 – Final Project

December 14th, 2011

I chose to write a paper that would expand upon the timeline enrty entitled, “Copyright Acts in USA,” regarding the 1909 Copyright Act. Initially, I chose this topic because because I knew that library would have plenty of sources on American copyright, and so the research would not be all that hard. While finding sources was easy, I realized that the amount of information was more than I had anticipated. The 1909 Act had so many implications that keeping the paper between 2-3 pages was actually fairly difficult. What I found to be most fascinating about the Act was that it was the result of increasingly frequent legal disputes with music composers and publishers against recording manufacturers. When I think about disputes over music copyright, player pianos don’t strike me as the serious offenders. However, it was not hard to imagine that they would be one of the main concerns for the music industry during a time when commercial recording technology was so limited.

And For My FINAL Project. . .

December 14th, 2011

For my final attempt to polish the timeline, I linked relevant posts together! By making ten main categories, I brought together interesting/popular topics and tied them together with links below the information and above the source citations.

I started by searching for keywords in the “all posts” field (thanks for the tip Christine), and gathered them all in a word document.  I then went to each of the posts and edited them with the links to other relevant posts.  The entire process took more time than I had anticipated, mostly because I took on the idea without thinking about how deep it could get.  Initially I was looking at adding around 100+ links, but with my final organization, I cut it down to a logical 56.

Of course, I had to throw in the iPhone vs. Android for one of the topics! Here’s the breakdown. . .

Final Project

December 14th, 2011

For my final project, I chose to improve the timeline in a technical manner.  My original group was in charge of finding dates that belong in the Print & Predecessors section and some of those dates were in B.C. and the timeline program was not originally written to accept those B.C. dates.  Consequently, our group had to place all of these dates on 100 A.D. for the time being.  Eventually a fix was discovered and for my project, I thought I should work with the division of digital learning and technologies to move all of those dates to there proper place in B.C.  I ran into some complications because at first, it would only move the dates with four digits so dates like 270 B.C. and 15,000 would not show up on the timeline.  I worked with one of the members and we were able to fix the issue with the 3-digit dates, but were not able to fix the dates with five digits.  I was able to move all the those dates, but the four that were five digits are still on 100 A.D. because we were not able to find a fix.  I thought this was a good project because it would help improve the accuracy of the timeline regarding the print and predecessors entries.

Yellow Journalism: The Battle for Control of New York

December 13th, 2011

During the last part of the nineteenth century a battle for the control of readership in New York began with the rising sensationalism being reported in the two prominent newspapers in New York. Joseph Pulitzer as head of the New York World and William R. Hearst head of the New York Journal began to go head to head to determine who had the best selling and widest circulation in the city.  The effect of this battle would end up haunting both men long after the fact. The battle would give rise to the term “yellow journalism” to describe the sensational news reporting while the real news went largely unnoticed.

Joseph Pulitzer purchased The New York World in 1883[1] and began charging two cents for a paper that ranged from eight to twelve pages and included pictures and comic strips along with crime stories that ran along side actual news items. By 1885 The New York World had become the highest circulating paper in the city of New York. In contrast William R. Hearst, backed by his family fortune, purchased The New York Journal in 1895[2] and began selling it for only one cent in order to gain a foothold in the city. Hearst admired Pulitzer and took his ideas for his paper with the advent of publishing crime stories[3], comic strips and photographs with more emphasis than actual news stories. Hearst’s choice to sell his paper for only one cent would spark the battle between himself and Pulitzer that would damage the reputation of both men and their papers for years to follow.

The first idea of the sensationalism that would give rise to the term yellow journalism would come from the escalating problems in Cuba. With the decision of President McKinley to invade Cuba and start the Spanish-American War, the sensationalism would soon begin.

The problems started in 1896, Hearst’s paper even with such a large audience continued to lose money at an extraordinary rate of approximately $100,000 a month[4]. With Hearst in trouble, Pulitzer waged an all out circulation war by cutting his price to one cent and trying to drive out the upstart Hearst.

There is confusion over where the term yellow journalism originated. The most popular theory came from a cartoon published in both papers titled “Hogan’s Alley” drawn by Richard Outcault first in Pulitzer’s paper around 1895 and later adopted by Hearst when Outcault left to join the Journal.[5] First the term was applied to the rising sensational content of the papers for the sole purpose of driving up circulation. Sociologist W. I. Thomas credits yellow journalism as “news of highly sensational character.”[6] The battle seems to refer not only to the war between Hearst and Pulitzer for circulation but for the rights to publish the comic strip “Hogan’s Alley” and it was suggested that the term yellow journalism came about while both papers continued to publish “Hogan’s Alley”. The height of the sensationalism came when both papers published what turned out to be a fake telegram between the captain of the USS MAINE and the secretary of the Navy on February 17, 1898 which alleged Charles Sigsbee, the captain of the MAINE as reporting the explosion was not an accident.[7]

After the publication of the “fake” telegram both papers suffered damage to there reputation as many other papers called both Hearst and Pulitzer’s tactics disgraceful; however circulation had increased by more than a million copies per day.[8] Even with their credibility in question by the end of the Spanish-American War both papers held wide circulation as it would seem the readers were interested in sensational stories more than the truth.

In conclusion, the battle for circulation rights between Pulitzer’s New York World and Hearst’s New York Journal embodied more than the cause of increased circulation and rising profits. There is no clear answer as to where the term yellow journalism first began; however the comic strip “Hogan’s Alley” with the character of the Yellow Kid is real and the creator did work for both Pulitzer and Hearst and there was a battle for publication of the strip between both papers lends some idea of reality as to a possible origin of the term.



Clark, Carroll D. “Yellow Journalism as a Mode of Urban Behavior.” Southwestern Social Science Quarterly 14 (Dec. 1933): 238-245.

Herringshaw, Thomas W. ed. Herringshaw’s National Library of American Biographies. Chicago: American Publishers Association, 1914.

Morris, James M. Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power. New York: Harper, 2010.

Porter, Ben H. William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years 1863-1910. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Whyte, Kenneth. The Uncrowned King: The Sensationalism of William Randolph Hearst. Toronto: Random House, 2008.

[1] James M. Morris, Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power (New York: Harper, 2010), 206-207.

[2] Kenneth Whyte, The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst (Toronto: Random House, 2008), 83.

[3] Ben H. Proctor, William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years 1863-1910 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 83.

[4] Ben H. Proctor, William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years 1863-1910 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 97.

[5] Thomas W. Herringshaw, Herringshaw’s National Library of American Biographies (Chicago: American Publishers Association, 1914), 352.

[6] Carroll D. Clark, “Yellow Journalism as a Mode of Urban Behavior,” Southwestern Social Science Quarterly 14 (Dec. 1933): 238-245.

[7] Ben H. Proctor, 116-117.

[8] Ben H. Proctor, 117.

Final Assignment

December 13th, 2011

The Legacy of the 1909 Copyright Act

The utilization of copyright acts in the United States has been required to shift in order to meet the needs of emerging technological advancement. Beginning with the first of such acts in 1790, United States copyright laws have been periodically updated to adjust with the demands of copyright holders. However, the Copyright Act of 1909 was distinct, not only due to its longevity, but also because of its effects on the music industry. Despite its later problems, the 1909 Copyright Act would ultimately lead to the modern understanding of copyright in the United States.

The effort to reform copyright law in the early twentieth century was largely the result of the technological advancements that affected the music industry. The invention of player pianos (pianolas) led to a demand from music publishers for stronger copyright protection, while the Aeolian Company, a pianola manufacturer, was steadily building a monopoly on mechanical recording rights from numerous publishers.[1] The legal disputes between composers, publishers, and mechanical recording companies led to the 1909 Copyright Act. According to Stanford University Law Professor Paul Goldstein, “Congress brought phonograph records as well as pianola rolls within the new law, and also took account of the feared Aeolian monopoly by subjecting the right to a compulsory license.”[2] The ramifications of the compulsory licenses could not be overstated. New York Law School Professor Edward Samuels explained this by simply stating that the Copyright Act, “provided that, once a music copyright owner made a recording of the work, anyone else could market and distribute recordings of the same work for a set fee.”[3] The compromise had been set: with composers and publishers being compensated for their music, and recording manufacturers no longer threatened by monopolies on distribution rights, the Copyright Act had seemingly met its goal.

The drawback to this revitalized emphasis on music copyright was that it created a larger population of potential copyright infringers. Goldstein was able to outline the two-fold problem that arose from creating copyright violators:

“First, the 1909 Act provided that for an unauthorized performance to infringe copyright it had to be not only public but also ‘for profit.’ Concerts were admission was charged were an easy case. But was background music in a restaurant played ‘for profit’? Second, unlicensed performances went on in cabarets, dance halls, and restaurants in virtually every city… To police each infringing performance and file lawsuits against them would likely cost more than any damages that might be recovered.”[4]

While the 1909 Copyright Act was intended to mediate between publishers and recording manufacturers, it had done so at the expense of many of their customers. Legal action against them was not practical; a trend that would only grow as technology made the possibilities for information distribution even greater. By 1972, one scholar wrote that 1909 Copyright Act needed to be recalled, in part, because it was no conducive to, “the prospective development of computer-based systems in which entire libraries of copyrighted works will be stored and made available for reproduction and transmission on demand.”[5] Clearly, the implications of the Copyright Act had forced people to seriously consider what qualified as infringement; a consideration that persisted long after the Act had been repealed.

Another significant aspect of the 1909 Copyright Act was that it prolonged the use of renewals in American copyright. Under the Act, copyright was extended to twenty-eight years following publication, with the renewal period expanded from fourteen to twenty-eight years.[6] In a sense, this made the United States copyright law distinct on the international level. Samuels wrote that, “even by 1909, most of the rest of the world had expanded their protection to the life of the author plus 50 years, and that term was seriously considered in the Congressional debates. But Congress, in its wisdom, chose to retain the renewal system, and to limit protection to 56 years.”[7] The continuation of the renewal system was simply another way by which the Copyright Act attempted to re-asses the compromise between copyright holder and customers

The 1909 Copyright Act is a prime example of how copyright legislature has evolved in the United States. While it initially attempted to find a compromise between creators and distributors, its existence brought forth the question of how a copyright infringer should be defined. That question can still be debated to this day. Even after the 1909 Act was replaced by the 1976 Act, many of its precedents managed to survive, either within the legislation or on the public consciousness. 


[1] Paul Goldstein, Copyright’s Highway: From Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003), 51-52.

[2] Ibid., 53.

[3] Edward Samuels, The Illustrated Story of Copyright (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2000), 184.

[4] (Goldstein 2003, 54).

[5] Abe A. Goldman, “Copyright as It Affects Libraries: Legal Implications,” in Copyright: Current Viewpoints on History, Laws, Legislation, ed. Allen Kent and Harold Lancour (New York: R.R. Bowker Company, 1972),

[6] Clement Harrison, “History,” in Copyright: Current Viewpoints on History, Laws, Legislation, ed. Allen Kent and Harold Lancour (New York: R.R. Bowker Company, 1972), 3.

[7] (Samuels 2000, 206).



Goldstein, Paul. Copyright’s Highway: From Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003.

Kent, Allen and Harold Lancour, ed. Copyright: Current Viewpoints on History, Laws, Legislation. New York: R.R. Bowker Company, 1972.

Samuels, Edward. The Illustrated Story of Copyright. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2000.



Preliminary Final Project Post

December 13th, 2011

So I find myself working diligently on this final project that I’m discovering is going to put me in the dirt.  I decided to take on the daunting task of linking relevant posts on the timeline, completely missing the fact that more or less, THEY CAN ALL BE LINKED IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER! What a discovery.  So here’s to sleepless nights until Wednesday night while I try and figure out how many links are too many links, or a way to narrow down just what constitutes enough relevancy for linking two or more together.