Brain Pickings

Nellie Was a Lady: 1945 Radio Dramatization of Pioneering Female Journalist Nellie Bly’s Life


“The life, loves, and laughter of one of America’s most fascinating women.”

In 1889, pioneering Victorian journalist Nellie Bly, who paved the way for women in media, set out to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days, inspired by Jules Verne. As if the true story weren’t riveting enough, a 1945 radio segment by Turner Bullock, titled Nellie Was a Lady, dramatized Bly’s life and her unprecedented adventure.

Though the program — in a precursor to current debates about sponsored content — was sponsored by chemical company DuPont, it’s half an hour of unabated educational entertainment, the kind that makes one lament the disappearance of radio dramatizations:

In related exciting news: After a number of requests, Wendy MacNaughton’s glorious illustration of how to pack like Nellie Bly is now available as a print, with proceeds benefiting the Women’s Media Center in honor of Bly — enjoy:

Thanks, Bob

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