Making the Perfect Record: From Inscription to Impression in Early Magnetic Recording

From Print to Film and Radio

Reeve was so inspired by this quality of accessibility that he became invested in becoming a detective himself. John Locke, who edited a collection of Reeve’s work and wrote a short biography on him, notes how many people actually addressed the writer as “Mr. Kennedy” (2007, 131). Reeve was not only seen adorning the covers of magazines featuring the Kennedy stories; he also became actively involved in crime prevention, particularly after his genre expanded into film and radio during the 1910s and 1920s. For instance, in April 1930 he started a radio show named—creatively enough—“Crime Prevention Program,” for which he underwent training with the New York City Police. On top of original drama, the program involved guest speakers (including New York Police Commissioner Edward Mulrooney) as well as Reeve’s own editorials on crime prevention. Shortly after the radio program commenced, Reeve ambitiously declared the formation of a nationwide “Crime Crusade Foundation.” Essentially a media campaign, it would join together crime prevention organizations across the country through a magazine, radio hour, book, and newsreel in order to collectively combat racketeering (Locke 2007, 33-34). The Foundation never gained steam. Still, as Locke describes Reeve’s turn from writing for magazines like Cosmopolitan to producing with media like radio: “If detective fiction had been a vessel for imparting science, Reeve was simply changing the broth” (33). Of course, as the “broth” changed, so, too, did the practices and settings through which Reeve exposed those he dogmatically deemed yeggmen and crooks.

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