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Earthquakes in Old Time Radio

Earthquakes occur almost daily, most are too weak to be felt, even locally. "The Big One" will hit someday and we need to be ready.

Earthquake

15 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 7 hours, 3 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
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8 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from October 01, 1945:

"Shadow Of Death"



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Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2022 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

SF Earthquake 1906

The countries and regions whose shores dip into the Pacific Ocean are collectively known as "The Ring of Fire". The name comes for the preponderance of volcanos in the region. The Ring of Fire is not the only place in the world where there are volcanos, of course, and volcanos are not the only frightening feature of the Ring of Fire region. The same geologic and tectonic forces which develop volcanos also give rise to the phenomena of earthquakes.

An earthquake, tremor, temblor, or quake occurs when the earth's solid surface shakes due to a release of energy from deep within the Earth's lithographic crust. We normally assume that the ground under our feet is composed of solid rock, therefore we expect it to stay solid. However, the solid, rocky crust of the Earth is floating on a dense and unbelievably hot liquid mantle.

The currents within the crust cause the continental plates of the crust floating on it to move, however, the plates do not all move in the same direction or rate of speed. Some plates are made up of heavy oceanic rocks and others of relatively light continental rock. When two different plates collide, the heavier plate generally sinks beneath or is "subducted" by the lighter rock. The lighter continent is uplifted as the oceanic plate dives under it, and the oceanic rock carries water and other things that can become volatile as they are exposed to heat and pressure beneath the surface.

SF EarthquakeThe tensions and energy from plate subduction build slowly over the years, and that enormous energy is rarely released all at once. On a planetary scale, the energy comes out as the squeaks and groans of a twisted rag. However, comparing energy release on a planetary scale to what happens on a human scale is a completely different kettle of fish!

Imagine a heavy rubber band, one of those heavy ones like the grocer wraps around celery stalks. Stretch the band three or four inches and let it go. Even over that short distance, the energy released can give a terrible snap, it might even leave a mark on your skin. Now, instead of a few inches of a rubber band, imagine miles of solid rock being stretched. It may only move a few inches, but that much energy is going to do more than leave a mark on your skin!

One place where an oceanic plate is being subducted by a continental plate is off the coast of California. Residents of Los Angeles and Hollywood are used to the frequent earthquakes in the region but fatalistically look forward to "the Big One". Barely perceptible tremors occur through the region almost daily, major seismic events that can be felt throughout the region and beyond occur every few years and cause millions of dollars in property damage. It is generally agreed that "the Big One" will make these smaller quakes seem like a heavy truck rumbling down the road outside your house, with intensive property damage and loss of life.

A prelude to "The Big One" shook the San Francisco Bay Area on April 18, 1906. Although most modern scientific measuring devices did were not in use at the time, the shaking lasted more than 42 seconds, killed more than 3,000 people, and left nearly 300,000 homeless out of a population of 410,000. The Quake and the ensuing fires were so intense that the San Francisco Public Records were destroyed, including the birth records of comedienne Gracie Allen, who claimed to be born in 1906 (Gracie's husband, George Burns, pointed out that Gracie's birthday was July 26, but the quake and fires occurred in April; Gracie replied that it was a "really big earthquake").

  • Police Headquarters, Ep #10, 1932. A call comes into Police Headquarters from the sheriff of Harmonsville. There has been a major earthquake that leveled half the town. The Major Insurance Company is anxious to pay off all legitimate claims. Shopkeeper Williams has a big life insurance policy on his brother, Hugh, whose body was supposedly pulled from the wreckage. However, a neighbor saw Hugh leaving town just after the quake struck.
  • Chandu the Magician, May 17, 1933. Chandu and the Reagents are invited to the Palace of the Secret Star in Java. While waiting in the Palace's observatory, they discover a map of the lost Island of Lemuria. The group is magically transported to the Island and caught in the Earthquake that caused the Island to disappear beneath the waves.
  • Superman, March 22, 1940. Keno and the Wolf make their escape from prison during a cell block riot that Lois and Clark are covering. They make their way to the Yellow Mask's lair where Wolf decides he will take over the gang, but the Mask has other ideas. Meanwhile, editor Perry White sends Clark and Lois to cover the series of earthquakes that are shaking up the remote town of Dyerville.
  • The Voice of the Army, October 28, 1946, "In Times of Stress". Sergeant Spalding of Ft Mason returns to his San Francisco apartment on the morning of April 18, 1906. Spalding's young wife has gone to the Mission District, one of the hardest hit in that morning's earthquake. The Army is put in charge of keeping order, but the Sergeant is desperate to find his wife.
  • Damon Runyan Theatre, April 10, 1949, "Earthquake". Sirens wail as the gangster bursts into the bar. They call him Earthquake because he is the biggest and meanest hombre in town, and when he decides to shoot his way out, Earthquake becomes a cop killer. Officer Johnny Brannigan follows the Earthquake to Central America, where they can use his kind of strength.

See also: California in Old Time Radio.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2022 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:

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  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    15 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00. Total playtime 7 hours, 3 min
    15 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 7 hours, 3 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    1. 15 shows - total playtime 7 hours 3 minutes
    2. Cbs Radio Workshop 560420 William Zekendorf Tycoon.mp3
    3. Chandu 330523 317 Nadji Is Afraid Of Vitrius.mp3
    4. Charlie Barnet Orch. 390124 Jump.mp3
    5. Damon Runyon Theater 490710 028 Earthquake.mp3
    6. Escape 500310 Port Royal.mp3
    7. Fred Allen Show 391025 004 Prairie Predicament.mp3
    8. I L M 500126 19 Temple Of Vampires.mp3
    9. Inner Sanctum Mysteries 451002 Shadow Of Death.mp3
    10. News 640328 Special Report Alaska Earthquake.mp3
    11. Police Headquarters 320000 10 Life Insurance Scheme.mp3
    12. Rocky Jordan 490911 Adventure With Andrea.mp3
    13. Romance 561006 450 Earthquake.mp3
    14. SRT 790326 Ace In Hole.mp3
    15. Superman 400322 0018 Wolf Vs Yellow Mask.mp3
    16. Voice Of Army 461028 326 In Times Of Stress.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    15 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00. Total playtime 7 hours, 3 min
    15 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 7 hours, 3 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    1. 15 shows - total playtime 7 hours 3 minutes
    2. Cbs Radio Workshop 560420 William Zekendorf Tycoon.mp3
    3. Chandu 330523 317 Nadji Is Afraid Of Vitrius.mp3
    4. Charlie Barnet Orch. 390124 Jump.mp3
    5. Damon Runyon Theater 490710 028 Earthquake.mp3
    6. Escape 500310 Port Royal.mp3
    7. Fred Allen Show 391025 004 Prairie Predicament.mp3
    8. I L M 500126 19 Temple Of Vampires.mp3
    9. Inner Sanctum Mysteries 451002 Shadow Of Death.mp3
    10. News 640328 Special Report Alaska Earthquake.mp3
    11. Police Headquarters 320000 10 Life Insurance Scheme.mp3
    12. Rocky Jordan 490911 Adventure With Andrea.mp3
    13. Romance 561006 450 Earthquake.mp3
    14. SRT 790326 Ace In Hole.mp3
    15. Superman 400322 0018 Wolf Vs Yellow Mask.mp3
    16. Voice Of Army 461028 326 In Times Of Stress.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    15 recordings on 8 Audio CDs. Total playtime 7 hours, 3 min
    15 recordings on 8 Audio CDs
    total playtime 7 hours, 3 min

    Earthquake Disc A001

    1. Police Headquarters 320000 10 Life Insurance Scheme
    2. Chandu 330523 317 Nadji Is Afraid Of Vitrius
    3. Charlie Barnet Orch. 390124 Jump

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Earthquake Disc A002

    1. Fred Allen Show 391025 004 Prairie Predicament

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Earthquake Disc A003

    1. Superman 400322 0018 Wolf Vs Yellow Mask
    2. Inner Sanctum Mysteries 451002 Shadow Of Death
    3. Voice Of Army 461028 326 In Times Of Stress

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Earthquake Disc A004

    1. Damon Runyon Theater 490710 028 Earthquake
    2. Rocky Jordan 490911 Adventure With Andrea

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Earthquake Disc A005

    1. I L M 500126 19 Temple Of Vampires
    2. Escape 500310 Port Royal

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Earthquake Disc A006

    1. Cbs Radio Workshop 560420 William Zekendorf Tycoon

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Earthquake Disc A007

    1. Romance 561006 450 Earthquake
    2. News 640328 Special Report Alaska Earthquake

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Earthquake Disc A008

    1. SRT 790326 Ace In Hole

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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