Historical Electronics Museums & Organizations

MUSEUMS

American Museum of Radio and Electricity (Bellingham, WA)
In a storefront in downtown Bellingham, this is really two museums in one: one about early electricity and the other focusing on radio (and some television) equipment of all kinds.

Antique Wireless Association (Bloomfield, NY)
Operates a museum in upstate New York, and publishes both a useful quarterly and an excellent research annual.

College of Charleston Communications Museum (Charleston, SC)
Offers four display rooms of antique radios, televisions, phonographs, telephones, magic lanterns, motion picture projectors, and other items related to entertainment and broadcasting.

Early Television Museum (Columbus, Ohio)
The Early Television Museum has an amazing collection of receivers, many of them dating before World War II and well back into mechanical systems.

Hammond Museum of Radio (Guelph, Ontario)
Home to hundreds of receivers and transmitters dating from the spark era up to and including early solid state devices.

InfoAge Science/History Learning Center and Museum (Wall, NJ)
Located at the historic Camp Evans, this is a broad museum of electrical communications. Open Sunday afternoons, it includes the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Marconi Hotel and 10 rooms filled with computer, radar, radio and ship wreck exhibits. Extensive website.

Marconi National Historic Site of Canada (Glace Bay, Nova Scotia)
This Canadian site concerns the stations (there were several over the years) where the famous 1901 trans-Atlantic’s signal was picked up.

The Museum of Broadcasting (Minneapolis, MN)
Located just west of downtown Minneapolis, in St. Louis Park, this is the Pavek Collection, a quite substantial exhibition of radio, television, and recording equipment as well as a research library.

Museum of Broadcast Communications (Chicago, IL)
Currently under construction, the Museum of Broadcast Communications is the home of the Radio Hall of Fame and the prime backer of the multi-volume Encyclopedia of Radio and the Encyclopedia of Television

The Museum of Radio and Technology (Huntington, WV)
The Museum of Radio and Technology has an extensive website.

MZTV Museum of Television (Toronto, Ontario)
The MZTV collection offers an extensive website dealing with both equipment and programming.

National Electronics Museum (Linthicum, MD)
Located near Baltimore’s BWI airport, this is a fine collection (and reference library) on military communications and radar.

New England Wireless and Steam Museum (East Greenwich, RI)
A fascinating series of displays in several buildings, this includes exhibits on both technologies but you need to contact them in advance of a visit.

Paley Center for Media (New York, NY)
Endowed by the longtime chairman of CBS, this offers a chance to hear and see historic broadcasts.

Society for the Preservation of Antique Radio in Canada Museum (Colquitlam, British Columbia)
Preserves radio and electronic communications artifacts and history, with an emphasis on a Canadian perspective. It operates a museum located on the Riverview Hospital grounds in just outside Vancouver.

Vintage Radio & Communications Museum of Connecticut (Windsor, CT)
Dedicated to displaying the history of electronic comunications, with a particular focus on Connecticut’s contributions to that evolution.

Voice of America Museum (Cincinnati, OH)
Near Cincinnati, the museum is under construction in VOA relay station.

Western Historic Radio Museum (Virginia City, NV)
Located near Reno, this offers displays of vintage radios featuring examples of the earliest wireless spark-gap apparatus up to the “kitsch” radios of the early 1950s, all displayed in chronological order with detailed descriptions of each radio’s history and its importance to radio technology.

ORGANIZATIONS

Antique Radio Classified Magazine
This monthly is a useful source when seeking or selling radios, parts, tubes and related items.

Federal Communications Commission-Historical Information
Responsible for licensing all broadcasters, in recent years, the FCC has developed exhibits in the main hallway of its Washington headquarters, and has placed some of that information (including bibliographies) online.

Metropolitan Washington Old Time Radio Club
Founded in 1984, the Arlington, Virginia, group exchanges, collects, and preserves any materials from the Golden Age of Broadcasting. Individually, and as a club, members collect and share OTR audio copies, books, scripts, and related radio broadcast materials.

Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club
This Washington/Baltimore group, has many members also are active in the National Capital Radio & Television Museum in Bowie.

Old-Time Radio Researchers Group
Primarily concerned with preserving old-time radio programs and developing detailed logs of what is available.

Tube Collectors Association
As the name suggests, these are folks focused on collecting and recording the history of vacuum tubes, the drivers of old radios.

OTHER HISTORICAL ELECTRONIC MEDIA COLLECTIONS

(There is a growing number of these types of collections&#151some with physical museums, others reside only virtually, but all can provide a lot of information, often on their websites.)

Antique Wireless Association (Bloomfield, NY)
Operates a museum in upstate New York, and publishes both a useful quarterly and an excellent research annual.

Eyes of a Generation
An online display (including relevant video clips) of an extensive collection of television and related equipment. See also its extensive collection of television-related links, including museums from many nations.