In the Corner with Dan Hughes
172-150327 In the Treasure Corner - Gold Dollars

The first thing you notice about a gold dollar is how tiny it is - about a half inch across.  And it weighs about 1/25 of an ounce, or about half the weight of a dime.

Then if you're especially perceptive, you might notice that Lady Liberty has the same facial outline as the Indian on the Indian head penny.  Why?  Because somebody was lazy....

The gold dollar was minted for just 41 years, from 1849 to 1889.  But in that short time, its design was changed three times. 

Its gold content is worth less than $60.00, but its collectible value can be over a quarter of a million dollars. 

Why was the gold dollar made thinner in 1854?  Why was it discontinued?  What two factors caused its downfall?  How did the Civil War affect our gold coin minting?  Why were gold coins used more in the early 1850s than at any other time?

These questions and more are answered in the latest edition of In the Treasure Corner.


And for secrets of getting more depth from your metal detector, no matter what brand or model, visit and click on the FREE ARTICLES link up top.

Direct download: 172golddollars.mp3
Category:treasure -- posted at: 12:42am CDT

253-150323 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Philo Vance

What do Superman, Popeye, and the Falcon have in common?  The stars of all those shows were also stars in the detective radio drama, Philo Vance.

Philo is played by Jackson Beck, who was the voice of Popeye's Bluto.  His secretary was played by Joan Alexander, who was Superman's Lois Lane.  And the DA was played by George Petri, who was the Falcon. 

Philo may have been rather the dandy in his early books, but by the time he made it to radio, he was a hard-boiled private detective. 

This episode, The Cover Girl Mystery Case, first aired on October 12, 1948. 

Direct download: 253philovance481012CoverGirlMurderCase2953.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:35pm CDT

252-150316 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Free Company

Schoolbook controversies are nothing new.  Nearly three-quarters of a century ago, the subject was covered in this episode of a CBS docu-drama called The Free Company. 

Should American history textbooks cover only the glowing, positive aspects of our early heroes, or should they present the complete truth, warts and all?

The group that produced these shows, the Free Company, was about as prestigious as you could get.  Nobody was paid, and writers included Ernest Hemingway, Stephen Vincent Benet, Norman Corwin, William Saroyan, and Sherwood Anderson. 

Hollywood actors like John Garfield, Orson Welles, and Paul Muni volunteered their services, and the series was hosted by Burgess Meredith.

The series ran less than three months in early 1941.  This episode, The Mole on Lincoln's Cheek, aired on March 2, 1941.

Direct download: 252thefreecompany410302TheMoleOnLincolnsCheek3001.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:46am CDT

171-150313 - In the Treasure Corner - Coin Quiz

Here's a rapidfire quiz about coins.  The questions are hard but fun, and the answers are given right after the questions are asked. 

So if you want to make guesses as you go, keep your finger on the pause button and hit it just as soon as I finish reading the question. 

Which of today's coins have the least amount of copper content?  How many mints have been in Philadelphia since 1792?

Do you know what strange thing happens when you pay for a $3.59 purchase with a $20 bill?

What was the Buzzard coin?  Who proposed our decimal money system?  What were the modern-day era years of no mint marks? 

Learn the answers to all of these and a lot more, in under five minutes.


For more articles on metal detecting and an ad for my book, The Metal Detecting Manual, visit

Direct download: 171coinquiz.mp3
Category:treasure -- posted at: 1:44am CDT

251-150309 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray Show (Bright Star)

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, television was exploding everywhere, and radio was fading.  Radio producers went to great lengths to survive as long as they could.  One of their tricks was to hire famous movie stars as radio actors.  Hence Jimmy Stewart as the Six-Shooter, Alan Ladd in Box 13, and Bogart and Bacall in Bold Venture. 

The Ziv Company, a radio syndicator, created a show starring Irene Dunne (five Oscar nominations) and Fred MacMurray (who would become even more popular several years later on My Three Sons).  The show was called Bright Star, but it was also called The Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray Show in an attempt to pull in more listeners.

Dunne was a smalltown newspaper editor and MacMurray her star reporter, George.  The program ran just one season, in 1952-53. 

This episode, George and the Society Burglar, first aired on December 11, 1952.

Direct download: 251irenedunnfredmacmurray521211societyburglar2954.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:13pm CDT

250-150302 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Blue Beetle

The Blue Beetle began as a comic book in August, 1939.  In 1940, CBS radio brought him to the airwaves. 

Dan Garrett was a rookie cop who had a good friend named Dr. Franz, who was a pharmacist and an inventor.  Dr. Franz invented a lightweight bulletproof "superbeing" costume for Officer Garrett, and he also concocted a special formula called Vitamin 2X, which gave Garrett "super energy." 

With the magic vitamin and the bulletproof uniform, Dan Garrett became the Blue Beetle, fighting for truth, justice, and  - no, wait, that's the OTHER superhero.

The Blue Beetle reappeared briefly in the 1950s, then again in the 1960s, and finally as a DC property in the 1980s. 

And by the way, if you enjoy Nightbeat, you'll be happy to know that the Blue Beetle was played on the radio by Frank Lovejoy. 

This episode, Thoroughbreds Always Come Through, aired on June 19,1940.

Direct download: 250BlueBeetle400619ThoroughbredsAlwaysComeThrough2830.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:17pm CDT