Radio History Museums

This blog lists museums that focus on classic radio station equipment and history. The list is certain to grow over time as more are identified. (Please submit any suggestions using the Contact Us page.) At present, organizations located in the U.S. are listed; those outside the U.S. are welcomed too. The links provided below were active at the time of posting; if any of them fail to work, please let us know.

There are a number of virtual museums that exist online, but do not have a physical presence. Those are not included here, but we’re happy to add them if readers find it helpful.

The museums listed below are in no particular order. We encourage you to find one nearby and pay them a visit. Note that some require an appointment scheduled in advance. The summaries below are adapted from the museum’s websites.

Texas Museum of Broadcasting & Communications
Kilgore, TX
This museum offers an eclectic mix of vintage broadcast memorabilia and equipment. The mission of the Texas Museum of Broadcasting & Communications is to collect, preserve, and showcase the history of electronic communications, educate and entertain patrons of all ages, and maintain a library of historical documents and media. The Museum uses the inventions and innovations of the past to inspire interest and foster imagination in the fields of electronics and communications.

Pavek Museum
St. Louis Park, MN
The mission of the Pavek Museum is to share how pioneers in electronic communications created enormous impacts on the evolution of society, to inspire in people a passion to make contributions to our quality of life through science and the communication arts, and to preserve the rich mosaic of the development of electronic communications through a historically significant, permanent, and living repository. The museum has over 12,000 square feet of antique radios, televisions, and broadcast equipment. The bulk of the inventory is the original Joe Pavek Collection, with additional items collected over the years.

Museum of Radio and Technology
Huntington, WV
The mission of the Museum of Radio and Technology is to preserve, restore, display, celebrate, and explain historic electronic equipment, programs, and other artifacts from broadcasting’s heritage; to provide education in the history of broadcasting and electronics as well as in the repair and restoration of electronics equipment; to offer an enriching cultural experience to citizens of and visitors to our region and, thus, to enhance their lives; and to bring credit to our region as the repository for a collection of historic objects that is acclaimed for its excellence throughout the world.

Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting
West Chester, Ohio
The mission of the VOA Museum is to preserve and celebrate the rich legacy and global impact of the Voice of America and the visionaries who established the field of electronic media and distribution. The mission also includes a commitment to creating educational experiences that connect the stories of achievement, innovation and technology, and inspire future generations. The museum is located at the former VOA broadcast site in West Chester, OH. The site has been reimagined as a museum about the medium.

California Historical Radio Society
The California Historical Radio Society (CHRS) is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1974 to promote the preservation, restoration, research, and publication of early radio and broadcasting history.

National Museum of Broadcasting
Pittsburgh, PA
Our mission is to tell the amazing story of how the second mass media revolution got started in Pittsburgh in 1920 with AM radio and how the media evolved from there into many ever-more-powerful forms over the years. In so doing, we celebrate the technologists and business visionaries who make it happen, evoke awe for the wondrous technology, inspire and educate young people and showcase Pittsburgh as a high-tech center — past, present, and future.

National Capital Radio & Television Museum
Bowie, MD
The National Capital Radio & Television Museum collects, preserves, and interprets artifacts, programming, and publications to educate the public about the development and impact of electronic media.

Any other sites we should add? Just let us know: Contact Us.

By the way, the photo at the top of the page is of the transmitting tower of WLW-AM, located in Mason, OH. WLW is the site of the famous 500 kW super-station transmitter, which was on the air from 1934 until 1939. For more details see this article from the National Endowment for the Humanities.