ORIGINAL CAST PROFILES – Ora Nichols
Ora Daigle Nichols was not only a talented sound effects engineer, but she broke social boundaries by being the first (and only) woman to be in charge of sound effects in Radio.
Ora, and her husband Arthur Nichols, had made the transition as a team from Vaudeville to silent film presentations…and then moved on to radio. Ora was trained as a musician, but found sound effects more fascinating.For years, Ora and Arthur freelanced at NBC and CBS.
She is most famous for her work on the Buck Rogers radio show (sometimes starring fellow War of the Worlds alumni, Carl Frank). She labored endlessly on bringing new and interesting sounds to the airwaves for Buck – including an electric shaver and an air conditioning vent to serve as the sound of Buck’s rocket ships.
Her clever contributions to The War of the Worlds include the sounds of Martian cylinders unscrewing, Army bomber planes flying, and the sound of a dying New York City under a Martian gas attack.
She would spend hours inventing new sound effects devices, including a pneumatic device that simulated machine gun fire.
Her abilities earned the respect and attention of the media – she was once voted “the most influential woman in radio”.
To learn more about Ora Nichols, and other radio sound effects giants, read “Radio Sound Effects” by Robert L. Mott.