Phillips Haynes Lord (1902-1975) was a radio star from the 1920s through the 1950s. He was only in his twenties when he achieved nationwide fame for his radio programs, the most famous among them being “Gangbusters” and several having to do with the “Seth Parker” character he created. “Seth Parker” was based on Lord’s own grandfather, Hosea Phillips. “Seth Parker” was a clergyman and rural philosopher of Jonesport, Maine. The show was an instant hit, and included a musical component. Books and gospel records from the show were sold, and in 1931 a feature film Way Back Home was released, starring Lord and Bette Davis.
In June of 1934, Lord embarked on a voyage for the South Pacific on a schooner renamed the Seth Parker, sponsored by Frigidaire. Broadcasts were aired via short wave radio and then retransmitted by NBC while the ship made stops along the eastern seaboard.
Unfortunately, the crew found themselves caught in a tropical storm near Tahiti in February of 1935 and had to curtail their trip as their boat became too damaged to continue. Lord went on to create “Gangbusters” and at least fifteen other programs, but the majority of his materials at the AHC pertain to “Seth Parker.”
–Kathryn Brooks, Processing Archivist