poster for Man in the Moon broadcasts Bob McNeary, Man in the Moon The Man in the Moon stories were read by Bill McNeary, initially over Westinghouse's WJZ, and later over WOR, the Bamberger and Company station. Both these stations were located in Newark, New Jersey -- the same city where, a decade earlier, children had listened to Uncle Wiggily and Three Little Trippertrot stories read over the Telephone Herald.

The WJZ broadcasts began in October, 1921, and the original plan was for the author,
Josephine Lawrence, to read the stories herself. However, there was a last minute change, as recounted by WJZ announcer Tommy Corwin, in Ben Gross' 1954 book, I looked and I Listened:
        "A woman was running a series of juvenile stories in the Newark Sunday Call. So we asked her to read these over the air. Our studio was situated on the top of one of the factory buildings and to reach it one had to climb a fifteen-foot iron ladder which led through a hole in the roof. Well, it so happened that this lady was afraid to make the climb and we had to drag her up forcibly. She was so frightened that she fainted. Bill McNeary, a reporter on her paper asked, 'Now what do we do?'
        "'It's your paper; so you do it,' I said to Bill, giving to him a sheet on which several of her stories were pasted.
        "'Yeah,' said Bill, 'but what do we call it?'
        "Just then through a window, we saw a big moon in the sky. 'I'll give you a name--The Man in the Moon,' I said. So McNeary read the story and became 'The Man in the Moon,' one of the most beloved characters of the early days of radio."
The Man in the Moon series was one of the best known programs on the air in radio's pioneering days. The show was even parodied -- WDY, RCA's short-lived station in Roselle Park, New Jersey, countered with a story series read by the "Man in the Room", who made his way into the studio (via sound effects) by crashing through a skylight window. The "Man in the Moon" poster is from an advertisement for Clark and Tilson on page 84 of the October, 1922 issue of The Radio Dealer, while the photograph of Bill McNeary appeared on page 42 of the August, 1930 Radio Digest.

Below is the first chapter from the book, which was the opening section in a five-part series reviewing The Adventures of The Gingerbread Man. (This series concluded with the The Gingerbread Man wedding Princess Charlotte Russe. There is no information whether the clock, damaged in the first chapter, was ever successful repaired.)

 
Man in the Moon Stories, Josephine Lawrence (illustrations by Johnny Gruelle), 1922:

 
cover
 
 MAN  
in
the
  MOON   STORIES 
Told  Over  The
RADIO - PHONE



By
JOSEPHINE  LAWRENCE

First  Stories  For  Children  Broadcasted  By  Radio


Illustrated  By

JOHNNY  GRUELLE
Author  of  "RAGGEDY  ANN"  and  "RAGGEDY  ANDY"



moon graphic



NEW  YORK 
CUPPLES  &  LEON  COMPANY
PUBLISHERS

 

INTRODUCTION

DEAR  CHILDREN:--
        You know the Man in the Moon--you have all seen his jolly face beaming down at you from the great yellow moon. Whenever you see him he is smiling and you know, just to look at him, that he is good-natured and happy and very fond of the little children at whom he smiles.
        Although you have all seen the Man in the Moon, not all of you have heard him. It wasn't until recently that he could talk to little earth folk, not till the radiophone was perfected. There he lived on the Milky Way this Man the Moon, with the Star Children, but he couldn't speak to you because there was no way to make you hear him. The radiophone, which is the wireless, has made it possible for the Man in the Moon to talk to you. And as soon as he found the children could hear him, he began to tell stories. The Man in the Moon told the first story for children ever told by radiophone and the first stories he told are those in this book.
        As he told these stories to children, the Man in the Moon named stars for them, bright, twinkling stars that stay shining as long as little people for whom they are named are good, but which turn dull and cloudy when the children are naughty. The Man in the Moon wants every child to have his own star; if you look inside the cover of this book you will find yours. As soon as your name is written on your star, you will be one of the Man in the Moon's Star Children. Please don't forget, the way to keep your star bright and shining is by singing as much as you can and never pouting at all--you'll really find it easy.

Pages 1-12:
moon graphic

I.   THE  ADVENTURES  OF  THE  GINGERBREAD  MAN


CHAPTER  ONE

HE  STARTS  OUT


THE Gingerbread Man was very beautiful. You would have said so, if you had seen him. He was dressed in a suit of brown that shone almost like satin. The buttons were of pink sugar, sweet and hard, and the suit was trimmed with wavy lines of white sugar. The Gingerbread Man had currant eyes and a nose of citron and he looked good enough to eat. He positively did.
        "I am so lovely," he said to himself as he lay in the glass case that stood in the bakery, "that I am sure someone will buy me and put me in the parlor on the mantelpiece. I am as handsome as a clock or a cut-glass vase would be."
        The Gingerbread Man had a kind heart, but dear me, I am afraid he was slightly vain. The glass case was lined with mirrors and he could see himself as often as he wished to look. And a vain person should not look in the glass too often because that makes him worse.
        One day an old lady came into the baker's shop to buy a loaf of bread. When she saw the Gingerbread Man she asked the baker to take him out of the case and let her see him.
        "My, but he is a handsome Gingerbread Man," said the old lady. And the Gingerbread Man said to himself that she was certainly a wise woman. "He is so handsome," the old lady continued, "that I think I must buy him and take him home to my little grandson. Yes, put him in a nice white paper bag and I will take him home with me and the next time I go to visit my grandson I shall take him the Gingerbread Man."
        The Gingerbread Man was so excited at the thought of going somewhere that he did not have time to feel sorry because he was leaving the baker's shop which had always been his home. He was popped into a paper bag and the old lady put the bag in her satchel and away went the Gingerbread Man to begin his Adventures.
        It was dark in the satchel and the Gingerbread Man, of course, could not see where he was going. He wondered what was happening to him and where he was being taken, when all of a sudden the bag was opened and the old lady reached in and took out the paper bag with the Gingerbread Man in it.
        "If I leave it in my bag too long, I am afraid it will melt," said the old lady aloud.
        She was talking to herself as the Gingerbread Man soon discovered. There was no one else in the seat with her and she was on a train. She put the Gingerbread Man, still in his paper bag on the seat beside her. The top of his currant eyes just showed over the edge of the bag
        "How nice it is to travel," said the Gingerbread Man to himself. I have always wanted to see the world. I hope that I am going to California."
        But just then the brakeman of the car opened the door and shouted "Greenwood! Greenwood! All out for Greenwood!" and the old lady picked up her bag and hurried to the door. She left the Gingerbread Man in his paper bag lying on the seat. She had forgotten him.
        "Well, look at this!" said the conductor when he came through to collect tickets. "Look at this handsome Gingerbread Man! I'll take him home to my little girl."
        "I thought I was going to a little boy, and now I am going to see a little girl," said the Gingerbread Man. "Surely I am going to have an exciting life."
        The conductor took the paper bag with the Gingerbread Man in it and put it away with his overcoat when he left the train that night, he put the bag in his pocket and the next thing the Gingerbread Man knew a little girl had opened the bag and pulled him out.
        "Oh, Daddy!" the little girl cried. "What a wonderful Gingerbread Man. Where did he come from?"
        "I found him on the train where someone had forgotten him and I brought him to you," said her daddy. "I hope you will see that he has a kind home."
        The little girl said that she would be very good to the Gingerbread Man and she took him upstairs, and put him on the window sill so that he could look out of the window. But oh, my, what do you suppose happened? The little girl's mother came in long after the little girl was asleep and she raised the window to let in the sweet cold night air. She did not see the beautiful Gingerbread Man and he fell out of the window and down upon the ground.
        But don't be sorry, because it really did not hurt him. He landed on a soft mat of grass and there he lay till something soft and furry, that walked on four little feet, came pattering up to him. Yes, you have guessed it--the something was a little dog. He took the Gingerbread Man in his mouth and away he ran. dog
        The Gingerbread Man was frightened at first, but the little dog carried him so gently and pattered along so smoothly that presently he was not afraid at all and rather enjoyed himself.
        "Little dog," said the Gingerbread Man politely, "where are you taking me?"
        "Ubble-gubble," answered the little dog, because of course he could not talk plainly with the Gingerbread Man in his mouth.
        Presently the little dog stopped running and began to walk. He walked in a gate and up a long path, up to the front door of a house which was painted white with green blinds. Then he scratched at the door with his paw.
        "Why, here's Toby!" cried a little girl, opening the door. "And oh, look what he has in his mouth! Such a beautiful Gingerbread Man."
        "Where did you find the Gingerbread Man?" asked the little girl's brother who had come running to see what Toby had found. "Woof! Woof!" replied Toby, his tail, wagging "Woof!"
        And only the Gingerbread Man knew that he said he had found him under a bush on the grass while he was out hunting for woodchuck. The Gingerbread Man, you see, could understand what anyone said.
        "He is such a beautiful Gingerbread Man," said the little girl to her brother, "that I think we should put him on the shelf beside the clock, as Mother does the pretty vases. He is prettier than any vase I ever saw."
        "Yes, he is," said the little boy. "I will get a chair to stand on and then I will climb up and put him beside the clock."
        "No, I want to climb up and put him beside the clock," insisted the little girl. And wasn't this dreadful! the little girl took hold of one side of the chair and the little boy held on to the other, and they pulled and they pushed and cried and argued till their mother came in and stopped them. And, when she had heard what they were quarreling about, she said she was surprised. And the little boy had to go and sit in one corner and the little girl in the other one and neither one could put the Gingerbread Man on the shelf beside the clock. Their mother put him there, and very handsome he looked.
        That night, after everyone in the house was in bed and asleep, the Gingerbread Man heard someone talking.
        "Tick-tock, tick-tock!" said the little voice. "What in the world shall I do? Tick-tock there is no one who can help me."
        "I'll help you, if I can," cried the Gingerbread Man, "What is the matter?"
        "Why something is the matter with one of my wheels," groaned the clock. "Tick-tock--there, every time say that, something catches. I think it is dust. If you put your hand in there at the hole in my back I am sure you can fix it."
        "But suppose I make you worse?" asked the Gingerbread Man doubtfully. "I don't know much about clock wheels."
        "Tick-tock!" groaned the clock. "Tick-tock. Oh, you can't hurt me--just stick in your hand and pull out that cobweb of dust."
        The Gingerbread Man did as he was told and put his hand in at the hole in the back of the clock.
        "Whir-rr! Whizz! Whir-rr bang!" went the wheels inside the clock and then the tick-tock stopped.
        "Clock, clock!" cried the Gingerbread Man. "Is anything the matter? Did that hurt you? I was afraid I would hurt you, you know."
        The clock did not reply and though the Gingerbread Man listened intently, there was no sound.
        "Dear clock!" he cried again. "Please answer me--why don't you say tick-tock any more?"
        But the clock said never a word and its wheels would not go round. The Gingerbread Man called loudly for Toby and the little dog came pattering in from the hall where he slept on a rug close by the door.
        "The clock won't say 'Tick-tock' any more," cried the Gingerbread Man. "Oh, what shall I do? What will the little girl's mother say when she comes in and finds that her clock is broken?"
        "Oh, my!" said the little dog in great dismay. "Oh, my, that clock is a very expensive clock. It is too bad you broke it."
        "Couldn't you mend it?" begged the Gingerbread Man.
        "Oh, I couldn't mend a clock," answered Toby, the little dog. "Dear me, no, I wouldn't know how to go about it. I think you had better run away."
        "But that would look as though I were afraid," protested the Gingerbread Man. "I don't want to be a coward."
        "If you could talk to Mrs. Mother and explain that you only put your hand in the clock because he asked you to, that would be all right," said Toby. "But as you cannot make anyone understand what you are saying, it will not be cowardly if you go away. I will take you, if you will say where you would like to go."
        "I'd like to go back to the baker shop," sighed the poor Gingerbread Man, "but that must be miles from here. Where else could I go, Mr. Toby?"
        The little dog thought for a few minutes, and then he said he would take the Gingerbread Man out to a farm which was not very far away. clock
        "And no matter if all the clocks in the house ask you to put your hand in their backs and fix the wheels, don't do it," said Toby severely.
        The Gingerbread Man promised that he would never touch another clock.
        "But how am I to get down from this high mantelpiece?" he asked anxiously. "And how will you get out of the house when all the doors are locked?"
        "I can climb up on a chair and take you off the shelf," said Toby. "And I think I can manage to climb out of the cellar window."
        So the little dog climbed up on a chair and gently took the Gingerbread Man in his mouth and climbed down again. Then he scuttled down the cellar stairs and into the cellar. One of the windows was open, to let in air, and the little dog kicked and scuffled till he had knocked the screen out. Then away he ran, the Gingerbread Man in his mouth.
        This time the Gingerbread Man did not talk to him, because he knew he needed all his breath for running. Soon the town was left far behind, and they were pattering along over a country road. The little dog did not stop until he came to a farmhouse, painted white and set back from the road.
        "I think this will be a good place," he said to the Gingerbread Man as he put him down on the front steps. "I am sorry I cannot wait to find out if any children live here, but I have to run all the way back so that I will be in our house by breakfast-time."
        "I hope some children do live here," said the Gingerbread Man, "but of course you cannot wait to see, Toby. Thank you very much for bringing me here, and if you can ever make the people understand that I did not mean to break the clock, please do."
        The little dog promised and reminded the Gingerbread Man once more not to touch another clock. Then he started off up the road, to run home before breakfast.
        The Gingerbread Man sat on the steps and wondered if the people who lived in the house would be nice to him.
        "I hope they will be glad to see me," he said to himself. "I am sure I am just as beautiful as ever, and not one of my pink sugar buttons are missing. If any children live here, they will be pleased to find me, I am sure. My goodness, I do believe they are getting up."
        Sure enough there was a noise in the hall, as though someone were unbolting the door. It was morning by this time, you see, and time to start a new day. As the Gingerbread Man listened, the door opened and a woman appeared wearing a blue and white gingham apron, with a broom.
        "She is going to sweep the porch--I hope she will see me first," said the Gingerbread Man and he was so excited he almost bounced off the steps.
        The edge of the broom was almost on the Gingerbread Man and he thought he was going to be swept off, when the woman saw him.
        "My goodness me!" she cried in great surprise. "Here's a Gingerbread Man! Some child must have been playing on the steps and left him. But I wonder who could have been here?"
        She picked the Gingerbread Man up and carried him into the house.
        "Now, let me see, where would be a good place to keep him?" she said aloud. "I will save him for Jennie, I think I'll put him up here behind the cracker jar and when Jennie comes over, I'll ask her if she would like to have him."
        The glass cracker jar stood on a table in the dining room, and the Gingerbread Man propped his feet against it and stared about him. He wanted someone to talk to.
        "Hello, where did you come from?" asked Cracker Jar suddenly.
        "I--I just came," stammered the Gingerbread Man. "Say, are there any children in this house?" he asked eagerly.
        "No, there are no children who live here," answered the cracker jar. "But a little boy and girl live on the next farm, and they come over here very often."
        "Is the little girl's name Jennie?" asked the Gingerbread Man.
        "Yes, it is, how did you know?" said the cracker jar.
        "Oh, he heard Mrs. Anderson say she was going to keep him for Jennie," chimed in the china sugar bowl. "Didn't you, Mr. Gingerbread Man?"
        "Yes, I did," replied the Gingerbread Man. "I hope Jennie will come over soon. What is the little boy's name?"
        "Jimmie," said the cracker jar. "Jimmie Mason."
        Presently Mrs. Anderson brought the breakfast in and she and her husband sat down at the table to eat it.
        "What is that up there behind the cracker jar?" asked Mr. Anderson as soon as he saw the Gingerbread Man.
        "Oh, that is a gingerbread man," explained Mrs. Anderson. "I found him on the front steps when I went out to sweep early this morning. I am saving him for little Jennie Mason."
        "Jennie Mason has so many dolls and toys, she really doesn't need a gingerbread man," said Mr. Anderson, who was a tall, jolly-faced man with twinkling, smiling eyes. "Why don't you give him to me for poor little Charlie Crane, who has to sit in a chair all day and play with toys on the window sill? He hasn't ever had a gingerbread man to play with, I'm sure."
        Good Mrs. Anderson said of course Charlie Crane should have the Gingerbread Man, and as her husband said he was going to drive to town that morning and would pass Charlie Crane's house on the way, she hurried off to wrap the Gingerbread Man in a nice piece of tissue paper.
        "Now I never will see Jennie Mason," mourned the Gingerbread Man to the cracker jar.
        "But Charlie Crane is the nicest little boy!" the cracker jar cried. "Just think, he has been sick for nearly a year and he hasn't been cross about it once."
        Mr. Anderson tucked the Gingerbread Man, all wrapped in white tissue paper, into his coat pocket and a half hour later started for town. The Gingerbread Man was so curious to see where he was going, he managed to work his head out of the paper and to peer over the edge of the pocket as Mr. Anderson was driving. He found that he was in a wagon harnessed to two black horses.
        "My goodness me!" cried Mr. Anderson suddenly, pulling out his watch. "Here it is half-past nine and I have promised to be at the town hall at a quarter of ten. I will never have time to go all the way up the Crane's lane to their house. I know what I'll do; I'll put the Gingerbread Man in the mail-box; that will be a surprise for Charlie."
        He took the Gingerbread Man out of his pocket, wrote hastily in pencil on the wrapping, "For Charlie" and stopped his horses before a small tin box nailed to a post on one side of the road. The Gingerbread Man could not see any house, but he knew there must be one near. Mr. Anderson put him in a box and half closed down the lid. Then he drove on.
        "What in the world will happen to me next, I wonder?" said the Gingerbread Man.