Exhibits & Collections
The National Capital Radio & Television Museum is filled with many exhibits that will take you on the journey from the early beginnings of broadcast to present day. We hope to see you at the museum one day soon to explore the history of broadcast
Artifacts in this gallery represent key milestones in the history of electronics. The oldest artifact in the museum collection is here—a specimen of the 1858 Atlantic telegraph cable.
In this gallery “Sound Effects and Novelty Radios’ visitors see how radio sound effects were done. A wall display illustrates the kinds of parts used in radios and television sets (capacitors, resistors, vacuum tubes, etc.).
“The Rise of Television” gallery tells the story of how television experiments began in DC in the 1920s and led to experimental television broadcasting with “scanning disc” receivers that used a motor-driven spinning disc to generate the moving images.
This room often houses temporary exhibits. The current exhibit is called “Yesteryear’s Radio Station” and shows the kind of equipment you might have seen when visiting a radio station in the 1950s.
“The Beginnings of Broadcasting 1920-26” features radios that would have been found in American living rooms in the early 1920s when radio broadcasting was a new and exciting development.
“The Nation Embraces Radio” (Mid-1920s to early 1930s) features both console and table model radios and shows how cabinet design became increasingly important as American families welcomed “furniture that talks” into their living rooms.
Our 1930s gallery “Leading Up to WW2” includes many impressive art-deco style radios. It showcases a 1939 Crosley “Reado,” a rare radio fax machine that delivers a printed newspaper to the home via radio broadcast.
Visitors climbing the stairs to the second floor galleries see about a dozen portraits of individuals who have made important contributions to radio and TV development.
The annex building houses the museum’s restoration shop, where skilled technicians restore antique radios and television sets to good working condition. The museum offers vintage radio repair classes in this building.