News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Harold Schneider

The Sounds of History

The Sounds of History

Harold Schneider, one of NBC’s first technicians, recorded history from FDR’s Fireside Chats to the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. His daughter, Cooperstown’s Diane Koffer, has memorabilia aplenty from his groundbreaking life … and hers.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to


Diane Koffer, as a child, with “God Bless America” singer Kate Smith, who was friends with their family through her father, Harold Schneider, the audio engineer for NBC.

One Christmas Eve, Diane Koffer remembers her mother Gertrude getting a call from her husband, Harold Schneider.

“He said that Bob Hope’s plane couldn’t take off because of fog, so he was bringing him home for Christmas dinner,” said Koffer. “He told her not to tell anyone, that it was going to be low-key.”

Schneider, an audio engineer for the NBC radio, then television, network, was supposed to fly with the fabled comedian to where he would entertain to the troops for Christmas. “Of course, my mom told my aunt next door, and they rushed to get the fine china and the silver all laid out.”

Harold came home to find the living room filled with friends and neighbors. “But he didn’t have Bob Hope with him!” said Diane. “The fog had lifted and his plane had taken off. He was pretty mad at my mom, though.”

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