The Magic Carpet was a weekly radio program of WDHN hosted by local resident Virginia Bogan during the 1940s and 1950s. WDHN was the FM radio station owned and operated by The Daily Homes News, a local newspaper owned by the Boyd Family of New Brunswick and Princeton. The Boyd and Bogan families were friends whose children spent time together. It was this fact that led to Mrs. Bogan hosting the program on travel for the station.
The CDs now available in the Archives of the New Brunswick Free Public Library were digitized from phonograph records made at the time of the broadcast. Mrs. Bogan, often with the assistance of her husband Robert Titus Bogan or her daughter Deborah Holmes Bogan, would discuss their recent travels or those of their invited guests. The guests were primarily local residents who would share their experiences of traveling for work and vacation to various locales.
Many of the destinations are familiar but the recordings show the different perspective of the mid-20th Century world. Airline travel was new. TV was young and middle-class Americans were beginning to explore.
Interspersed with the travel dialog are commentary and references to daily life in New Brunswick. The guests can be found in the telephone book and their families still live in the area. The Bogans lived at 1289 River Road, now Easton Avenue, right next to Rutgers Preparatory School. The Bogans' ashes were scattered in the Christ Church Rose Garden and memorial plaques are on the garden wall.
The Meadows Foundation began as an effort to save their home after they died in the 1970s. Today that house (the original name of the house was "The Meadows") and 6 others are preserved as a result of the foundation efforts.
Deborah Bogan, who was about 12 years old at the time of the broadcasts, lives in Boulder, Colorado. She went to the University of Colorado and never left the state since. She lives there now with her husband Martin Errickson and their children.
The digitization and program were funded by the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Processing was done by George Blood of Safe Sound Archive. The phonograph records have been processed into 13 disks that cover programming from December 12 1949 to December 19 1950. Each disk has from 3 to 6 tracks from one program session on one individual date. Several tracks are included on this site to give a sample of the quality of the recordings and the program content and format. You may ask the Reference desk if you would like access to the CDs, to listen to them in the library.
December 12, 1949
Track 1 and Track 2
Mrs. Bogan is assisted by her husband with guests H. H. Heinz of Blackwell Mills, NJ, with William Knox Atkinson joining in intermittently. The theme is "Home and the Fireside", reflecting the Holiday season. Discussion includes the "gift of the American way", the importance of history, and much about local history in New Brunswick and New Jersey.
January 16, 1950
Mrs. Bogan hosts a program on a visit to San Juan, Puerto Rico by Franklin Township residents Emily and Charles Burke. It is the first airplane ride for Mrs. Burke on an overnight Pan Am Clipper from New York to San Juan.
February 20, 1950
Guests Irene and Walter MacDonald of 101 Hamilton Street discuss a ski trip to Buck Hill Falls in Pennsylvania with Mrs. Bogan. Mr. Riley of the New Brunswick Savings Institution is brought into the discussion.
The phonographs were donated by Liam Adams-O’Malley to the New Brunswick Free Public Library local history archive.