When Radio Was King

Before the age of television, there was a period spanning 50 years during which radio was the primary popular medium for entertainment and an important channel for news and special events. Many of us lived through or in that period and have clear and fond memories of the role radio played in our lives. If you are too young to recall radio as other than a format for top-40 music and traffic reports, here is a look back at the phenomenon that entertained, informed and enlightened your parents and grandparents. And if you do have personal memories, see how many of them you can find mentioned in this exhibit.

The early days of radio

"Hey Kids"

Adult stuff

Radio Pioneers

Guide to the exhibits

Technology milestones


Web sites

Antique Radio Classified
Information about antique radio collecting and the history of early radio.

Antique Wireless Association
Organization interested in history of radio and radio communication.

"Doc" Herrold story 1 hour TV broadcast by KTEH

Charles "Doc" Herrold website Lots of material from Mike Adams and Gordon Greb about this radio pioneer.

History of the NBC Chimes

IEEE historycenter IEEE list of sites related to broadcast technology

Radio Attic archives Comprehensive set of over 3,000 images of antique radios.

Radio Era Archives Commercial site, but many resources here, including operating and maintenance manuals for old radios.


Guide to Old Radios : David and Betty Johnson
Wallace and Homestead Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1989

The Legacies of Edwin Howard Armstrong Proceedings of the Radio Club or America, Volume 63, Number 3, November, 1990

The Story of Charles Herrold, Broadcasting's Forgotten Father: Mike Adams,
Antique Radio Classified, Volume 11, Number 10, October 1994


This virtual exhibit incorporates elements of two MOAH exhibits:

When Radio Was KingBack Room Treasures

MOAH Exhibits Committee

Chairman: Bill Wehrend

Art Adams
Suzanne Beaver
J. Robert Beck
Bob Bond
Roger Broussal
Richard Clark
Gwyneth Claughton
Ernestine Faxon
Lorri Ruiz Frain
Charlie Gillis
Dor Hesselgrave
Ralph Igler
Frank Livermore
Beverly Nelson
Theodora Nelson
Connie Young Yu
Bob Wersted
Anne Wright
Gordon Wright

Photography Wayland Lee

And a very special thanks to Art Adams for his expertise and loaned artifacts.

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Back To Top This page last updated: March 5, 2003
Original content: Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Museum of American Heritage
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