A Century of Radio

An exhibition dedicated to 100 years of Radio through the Museum of Broadcast Communications


Image by: Eva Koureta

Eva Koureta, Staff Writer

This winter, the Museum of Broadcast Communications is hosting an exhibition to celebrate 100 years of radio. 

The idea of radio as entertainment emerged in 1920 with the opening of the first radio stations, established specifically for broadcast to the public. Now, a century later, we can celebrate this magnificent invention by visiting the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago. 

Through donations and charity events, the museum managed to create a tremendous collection of vintage radios from the early years to recent days.

It also captures the development of typewriters and recorders, along with various historical events influenced by their development. For example, the first televised presidential campaign of the Kennedy v. Nixon debate. The 1960 debate was the first time the public could watch presidential battles on television.

However, visiting a museum with a vintage theme doesn’t mean that it can’t have modern technology. Throughout the exhibition you will find many large touch screens that illustrate momentous events from 1920 to 2021, with informational pictures and videos. For example, the magnificent launch of Apollo 11 on July 16 1969.

Since radio is an important part of America’s history, the museum dedicated an entire room for the “Wall of Fame,” presenting portraits of America’s famous radio stations hosts, such as Paul Harvey, Larry King, Howard Stern and Ryan Seacrest.

Towards the finish line of the “Century of Radio, Ride the Wave” exhibition, the museum has established an outstanding small merchandise shop for the public. The shop includes mugs, t-shirts, board games, vintage radios and many more souvenirs for the visitors. 

The museum is offering free admission from Thursday to Sunday with a variety of opening hours. The exhibition will be available through summer 2022. It is located on 360 North State Street on the second floor.

In conclusion, the museum hosted an outstanding presentation of the 100 years of radio, leaving visitors with excitement and appreciation for  the exhibition. The tour lasted approximetely 20-25 minutes, despite the fact that the tickets were offering one hour worth of presentation. However, it seemed that visitors could not take longer than 30-40 minutes to review all the exhibits.

Learn more information on the Museum of Broadcast Communications and view our photo album below.