The Murdock Family Radio

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My first photo taken with the Murdock Family Radio, 1951 Mom, my brother Steven and me as the cute    baby


No kid actually wants to wake up for school, but waking up to the radio blasting to the sounds of KSL 1160 on the dial was enough to render us instantly cranky.  Besides the blaring box, mom would be yelling ” It’s 7:30 you will all be late for school and have to go without breakfast”  Who cares if we’re late, and I hate breakfast.  (mom always lied about the time, it was usually only 6:30 or 7) Her favorite radio program was always on at this ungodly time of the morning – Margaret Masters Kitchen – I pictured her looking a lot like Aunt Bee on Andy Griffith.  She had all kinds of household hints and recipes.  I thought she was annoying – not even the shrill voice of Margaret Masters could get us going in the morning, what we needed was a cup of coffee.

The Murdock Family Radio 1947 Emerson 535 Radio, case designed by Raymond Loewy (knobs replaced, mom wore them out cranking up the volume) 



I started wondering about this Emerson radio, so much a part of the family for so many years.  This little wooden box with sounds coming from it – what story does it have?


Victor Hugo Emerson was an early recording engineer and executive who was at one time employed by Thomas A. Edison.  In 1915 he established the Emerson Phonograph Company in NY. In 1920 it was described as the 3rd largest record manufacturer.  The Company passed into the hands of Benjamin Abrams and Rudolph Kanarak in 1922. In 1924 they entered the radio business, renaming the company Emerson Radio & Phonograph Corporation, and the rest is more history. 

A few of the stats about our little radio:  Category Broadcast Viewer or past WWII tuner; 5 Tubes – 12BE6, 12BA6, 12AT6, 50B5,35W4; Super heterodyne; 6 AM circuit broadest only ; AC/DC Set; 105-125 Volt; Loudspeaker Permanent Magnet Dynamic, moving coil; Model 535 Ch = 210045; Wooden case, table model up to 14″; width BC band tuning ranges 540-1620 KHZ, Built in loop antenna, Price: $29.95.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the Murdock Family Radio is that the case was designed by the famous “Raymond Loewy”. (1893-1986) a French-born American Industrial Engineer who achieved fame for the magnitude of his design effects across a variety of industries.  Besides being the designer for the case of the Emerson 535, some of his more famous accomplishments:  Logos for Shell, Exxon, TWA, Design of the Coca Cola Vending Machines and fountain dispensers, Coldspot refrigerators, Studebaker Avanti, Greyhound Sceniccruise bus, Lucky Strike cigarette package, NASA’s Skylab space station.

One of Raymond Loewy’s most Icon designs The Coca Cola fountain dispenser

Just think about it – the family radio and the Coca Cola dispenser are practically cousins !!!! being designed by the same guy.


I feel I should also say more about the infamous “Margaret Masters”. As I research her, I decided that as a kid even though I found her totally boring and annoying, she was a great lady and accomplished great things.

She was born Margaret Roseabelle Masters on March 17, 1908 in Seymour, Missouri.  During her time in Missouri she was a midwife and delivered many babies.  She fell in love and married John Franklin Smith . Sometime in the 1940’s they moved to Utah.  Margaret AKA Maggie Smith, was known to Utahns as Margaret Masters, KSL Radio and TV personality for over 40 years.  She wrote the vignettes for the issues of Today’s food section in the newspaper. She was featured twice weekly on the KSL TV show, “Good Friends”.  “I stand on a fence and talk one day and I do a cooking spot on another” she says.  Smith gathers information for her “Good Friends” show by putting down whatever anyone says who passes under her nose.  Her friends, 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren provide plenty of input for this.  She always said “people don’t die, they just shoot on over” – what a coincidence, Margaret Masters Smith “shot on over” the same day as the Challenger Explosion, January 28, 1986.


An excerpt taken from Billboard Magazine June 26, 1948 gives a synopsis of her radio program.  “Margaret Masters Kitchen, KSL Radio, SLC, Producer, Writer Margaret Masters, Announcer, James Peterson, Cast:  Margaret Masters and guests.  This is a good program with homey atmosphere and leisurely pace, differing from others in the genre in that it has a good production.  There is recreated family atmosphere and the script is packed with homemaking hints.  Miss Masters discusses recipes in the Hazel Stevens food plan, a budget plan for families.  Miss Stevens is the dietician with the Utah Board of Health.  The program also features a good cook of the day.  There was little of that artificial atmosphere associated with some of these programs.  Just homemaking, good food, talk and Miss Masters conversational manner with announcer James Peterson and the guest seemed just right.  Topics were  pertinent and handled in an interesting manner.


With all the talk about Margaret, I felt I should include one of her famous recipes.

3 egg Whites

1 cup sugar

1 cup coconut

1 cup nuts

3 cups corn flakes

Beat egg whites till stiff, fold in sugar, then add coconuts, nuts and corn flakes.  Drop on greased cookie sheet and bake 325 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes.  Cook slightly for a couple of minutes on sheet before removing – recipe from Margaret Masters Kitchen Booklet


Taking Out The Trash

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“TAKING OUT THE TRASH” – Until the mid 1960’s one of our jobs was taking the trash to the “Incinerator” – a rusty old drum in our backyard. It was the only job I liked so naturally my brothers and I fought over it, and were told to “take turns”. After striking the big wooden matches against the side of the barrel it was thrilling to watch the flames shoot out of the top, the smoke and embers filling the air. We tried to burn everything, and what wouldn’t burn was taken up the street to the Kaysville Dump on the corner of 4th West & Main St. (Now Intermountain Health Care Building). It is stuff like this from my childhood that amazes me I’m still among the living. – Blurry photo of “The Incinerator”, circa 1961, Uncle Howard Brierley trying his pole vaulting skills. Yes we had a pole vault stand in our backyard.


The Wunnerful Wunnerful Lawrence Welk Show

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LIFE SMILE – My mom’s rules for MANDATORY TV Watching NO EXCEPTIONS:  “You will sit down, shut up, and enjoy Lawrence Welk and LDS General Conference – end of discussion.” Oh the mighty music maker’s opening wasn’t so bad, what kid doesn’t like watching bubbles float randomly around the screen, waiting anxiously for that oh so familiar sound of a champagne bottle being uncorked (we got a little confused on conference Sunday when we were taught the evils of alcohol). After an eternity of “The Champagne Music Makers” and Mr. Welk with his “anna one anna two” waving his magic wand (me secretly hoping he will make this all disappear) the words I’ve been waiting to hear “Here’s a wish and a prayer that every dream comes true, and now until we meet again adios, au revoir, auf wiederscen — good night.  — The cool nostalgic tray in the photo – my brother Steven gave me a few years ago for my birthday, so I can never forget those “wunnerful, wunnerful” memories of trying to sit still for one entire hour and not make a noise.

The Magical Electric Football Game

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In the 1950’s Santa Claus brought my older brother Steven this oh so awesome back in the day “Electric Football Game” – In 2013 I was in Rochester New York, at the Museum of Play and took this photo, as it had brought back many memories of Steve’s magic football game. When the motor beneath the board was turned on, the field would vibrate, shivering the players every which way all over the board, it was part electric, part magnetism, and totally fascinating to watch.

Yes I Do Own A Mr. Ed Feedbag

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In the mid 1990’s “Nick at Night” on TV was all the rage.  Our generation was finally getting to see those oh so coveted television shows we watched as kids.  I have been a huge fan of Mr. Ed all my life, even being an official member of the Mr. Ed Fan Club. Words of Wisdom from Mr. Ed ” Sometimes when you put your head in a feed bag you have to grasp at straws.”

Birthday Card for Daddy

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This Birthday card I made for my dad in 1958, age 8.  The girl is suppose to be me dancing the Highland Fling, while my dad accompanies me on his bagpipes.  My love of Scottish Heritage was coming out, sadly my ability to draw stayed in the closet.  I know there are no bagpipes in the drawing, I remember trying to draw them in, and couldn’t get them to fit or resemble bagpipes.  Needless to say my dad must have liked the card, as he saved it all these years.  Wait! What am I saying they saved EVERYTHING all these years!






Kaysville Opera House and Amusement Hall

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KAYSVILLE OPERA HOUSE/AMUSEMENT HALL – LOCATED 200 W CENTER (THEN THE ADDRESS WAS SE CORNER OF LOCUST & 5TH ST.) The original building was used as an LDS Meeting House from 1863-1910 (see post about Kays Ward Meeting House history posted 12-31-2016) – Construction to remodel began Oct. 1910. Actual work began April 1911. The contract was for Architect William Allen of Kaysville & J.P. Jacobsen Construction Co. of SLC. Rock, gravel, etc. were hauled by ward members in wagons drawn by teams of horses. Frank Hyde, a Kaysville buildier was assistant to William Allen and also kept records and paid salaries. Bricks for the remodel came from the Kaysville Brick Yard, by which was used their signature yellow color. The cost of the project was to be about $9,000. From it’s 1911 opening it was used for both religious and civic programs. For several years it was on the National Vaudeville circuit. In the 1920’s there was another renovation, indoor plumbing, bathrooms, and drinking fountain were added. In 1922 silent movies were shown. As moving pictures became more popular and sound was added, a professional projection booth and speakers were placed in the building. The feature film would arrive on the Bamberger train from the distributor in SLC. Moving pictures were shown there until the Kaysville Theater was built in 1947. In 1951 the Kaysville 1st Ward expanded the Tabernacle, adding a cultural hall. The Opera House was torn down when the Tabernacle addition was dedicated in 1951. Area now parking lot for Tablernacle.THANK YOU BILL SANDERS FOR THIS VALUABLE HISTORY

The Year Kaysville Became A City

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THE YEAR KAYSVILLE BECAME A CITY: During the 1860’s the name “Kaysville” had began showing up in what records there were usually in parenthesis after Kay’s Ward as a means of identification. Christopher Layton introduced the bill into the State Legislature. – Utah Territory Bill H. F. No. 14, approved on February 13, 1868 by the governor and enacted on March 15, 1868. It was the 1st city in Davis County to be incorporated, and the 27th in the Utah Territory. The first minutes of the new city government appointed Thomas F. Roueche as Mayor, as councilmen: Grandison Raymond, Rosel Hyde, Robert Egbert, Joseph Allred, and James Taylor. Recorder: Peter Barton; Marshal: Robert W. Barton; Treasurer: William Blood; Supervisor of Streets: Joseph Egbert; Captain of Police: John Bennett. Leter John Ellison & John Gailey served as Justices of the Peace.

Thomas F. Roueche Kaysville’s 1st Mayor 1868
Grandison Raymond Kaysville Councilman 1868
Rosel Hyde Kaysville Councilman 1868
Peter Barton Kaysville Recorder 1868
Joseph Egbert Kaysville Supervisor of Streets 1868
William Blood Kaysville Treasurer 1868

Christopher Layton – Namesake of our city

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CHRISTOPHER LAYTON (1821-1898) -Layton City named in his honor – Director Utah Central and Utah Southern Railroad, Served in Utah Territorial Legislature as Davis County Selectman (commissioner) – President and founder Farmers Union Store in Layton – Brought first alfalfa seed and dry farming to Utah – Organizer of Central Canal Co. bringing water from Weber River into Davis County.

WIVES: Mary Matthas, Martha Otterson, Sarah Martin, Sarah Barnes, Isabella Golightly, Caroline Cooper, RoseAnn Hudson, Hanna Maria Septima Sims, Mary Jane Roberts, Elizabeth Hannah Williams – 65 Children – which means there are a whole lot of you descendants out there !!!

Bronze Statue of Christopher Layton on display at Layton Heritage Museum

Layton Cold Storage

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Layton Cold Storage 156 W. Gentile circa 1950’s

The Layton Cold Storage once stood on the corner at 156 West Gentile in Layton.  The owner was B. M. Anderson, aka “Uncle Andy” He did a thriving business in the 1940’s and 50’s.  Besides his meat lockers, he sold a few groceries.  He was famous with all of the local children because of his “penny candy” he sold with a big smile.  He loved all the kids and they loved him.  Every year for his birthday he would treat the local children to a free movie and treats at the Ritz Theater on Main Street.  In later years the building became the home of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, after the building was torn down, it was replaced by lawn as it remains today.

Ann Dibble Call “We loved the Layton Cold Storage.  When we were at Layton Elementary we were absolutely forbidden to cross the tracks during school hours to go there.  Penny Candy and a jovial Mr. Anderson tempted many! There were not alot of home freezer units in the 1950’s.  I loved going in the walk in freezer with my mother.  We rented a locker, got the key from Mr. Anderson, and as we entered and picked up our meat stored there, it smelled cold, so very cold.”

             B.M. “Uncle Andy” Anderson

In the above photo school children are visiting the Layton Cold Storage.  Besides getting their penny candy fix, they are contributing to the March of Dimes Drive.  To the kids B. M. seemed to stand for “Big Man”.  Mr. Anderson was over 6 feet tall.  Some of the students which have been identified include:  Verland Buckley, Joan Sill, Floyd Morgan, Dee Meibos, and Toma Miya.

OGDEN STANDARD EXAMINER MAY 22, 1953 – HEY YOUNGSTERS! UNCLE ANDY’S PARTY IS SATURDAY –  It reads as follows: “B. M. Anderson, “Uncle Andy” to most Layton youngsters is giving his annual party in the Ritz Theater tomorrow. This is the fifth year in a row Mr. Anderson has given the party for the children.  It includes a two hour show, popcorn, candy, balloons, and just about everything else.  Helping with the annual event this year are the Ritz Theater operator, The American Legion, Sons of the American Legion and The Boy Scouts.  The fun gets going at 10 AM.  It’s open to all Layton, Sahara Village, and Verdeland Park youngsters”


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