Eagle’s Eye View of Weber City
Bird’s Eye View of Weber City designed to accompany a nightly radio serial.
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The Amos N’ Andy show ran from 1928 to 1960, and focused on two friends from Atlanta who traveled to Chicago in search of a better life. Amos was naive, but hard working, while Andy was a self-confident schemer who generally let his partner do most of the hard work. Characters would often take advantage of the pair, and trick them into participating in various schemes and harebrained ideas, such as the Fresh Air Taxi Company (to promote a car with no windshield).
The show quickly became popular, and a change in broadcasting rights saw the duo move to Harlem and a wider New York audience. This historically black neighborhood made for rich material for the show’s African American protagonists, but it’s important to note that the creators of the show were not black. Harking to the days of the minstrel show, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll were white actors who had an idea for a radio show about “a couple of colored characters from the Midwest.” It wouldn’t be until 1939 that the first African American would appear on the show, despite the vast majority of the characters being black.
The language displayed on the map also reflects these racially charged undertones, with misspellings, vernacular language, and simple grammar reflecting the idea of Amos and Andy as just simple folks from the South. Weber City, the subject of the image, was a fictional town that played a large role in the show’s plotline. References to prominent characters and locations from script can be seen throughout. One such character, the Kingfisher, had a catchphrase that would eventually enter the American lexicon – “Holy Mackerel!”
Publication Date: 1935
Author: Andrew H. Brown
Sheet Width (in): 20.00
Sheet Height (in): 15
Condition Description: Very minor soiling in the white margin, otherwise excellent.