MsC 150.12

Collection Dates: 1907 -- 1982
(Bulk Dates: 1920 --1940)
.5 linear ft.

Collection Guide

This document describes a Manuscript Collection held by the

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries

Guide Contents

Administrative Information

Biographical and Historical Information

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Related Materials

Acquisition and Processing Information

Box Contents List

Administrative Information

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.


Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Biographical Note

Tom Blanchard was born in Gardiner, Maine, attended Bates College, and the Boston Lyceum School. Following the death of his first wife, he met Ruth Moore in 1921 in Blair, Nebraska, where he appeared on the Chautauqua circuit as a member of the New England Male Quartet. Ruth, born in Omaha, Nebraska, attended Dana College, Trinity Seminary, and Nebraska Wesleyan, followed by Boston Lyceum School where she studied music. They were married in 1923. In 1925, Tom and Ruth formed a duo and appeared with the Redpath and Dominion Chautauquas, where they performed unaccompanied duets, whistling duets, readings, sketches, and impersonations. After two years, Tom became a superintendent on the Gulf Coast Circuit. Beginning in 1927, they performed for radio stations in Nebraska and Iowa. Upon moving to Chicago in 1931, Tom had his own radio show on WGN, "The Whistler and His Dog" and later moved to network programs, with Ruth appearing with him on some of the shows. The year 1942 found them returning to Blair, where both taught school. In 1953 they moved to Alaska for two years, then returned to Blair. Tom became superintendent of the Washington County Schools in Nebraska in 1956.

KHodson 2006

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material related to Tom and Ruth Blanchard's appearances in Chautauqua and radio, including correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and ephemera such as Chautauqua programs from Blair, Nebraska. Also present are items related to their later years together spent in Blair.

Related Materials

A manuscript register for the Redpath Chautauqua Bureau, as well as other small Chautauqua collections, is accessible at the following URL:

Acquisition and Processing Information

These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by Mary L. McGee in June 2006

Guide posted to Internet: September 2006.

Box Contents List

Chautauqua Programs, 1907 -- 1921, many from Blair, Nebraska

Correspondence, including 3 first day issue Chautauqua stamps and envelopes

Nebraska Chautauqua, summer 1975

Newspaper clippings


Publications related to radio, including WLS, Johnson's Radio News, etc.

Posters, advertisements, and talent brochures

Scripts and other material for performances, including skits, readings, radio programs, etc. Many were used in Chautauqua (2 folders)

White Entertainment Bureau News, 1923 -- 1924

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