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New Museum Exhibition - On the Radio

New exhibition highlights more than six decades of radio design

Radio is one of the great technological triumphs of the 20th century.  Envisioned for wireless communication, radio became a universal mass media and captivated audiences across the world.  For the first time in history, populations separated by thousands of miles could be notified of important news at a moment’s notice.  In the United States, radio programming shaped popular culture and strengthened national unity.  Millions of Americans gathered around their radios every night during the 1930s and 1940s to hear live comedies, serials, musical performances, and news reports.  Radio was the most exciting and accessible technology of its time and galvanized the imagination of countless listeners.

Between 1922 and 1924, the number of radio stations in the United States skyrocketed from twenty-eight to more than 1,400.  By the 1930s, a new series of compact, high-powered radios incorporated improved vacuum tubes and circuitry.  This was the golden age of broadcasting, characterized by radio shows performed by actors, sound engineers, and live musicians.  As television took the spotlight in the 1950s, radio programming shifted to recorded music and talk shows.  Transistorized portables and automobile radios cranked out rock ’n’ roll and Top-40 hit songs, deejays and radio show hosts became overnight stars, and the number of receivers in the United States doubled.  Radio had cultivated a massive and mobile audience.  This exhibition highlights more than sixty years of radio design, from crystal sets and luxury consoles, to stylish tabletop models and pocket-sized transistors.

Thank you to the following lenders for making this exhibition possible: Tom Albrecht, Jaime Arbona, Steve Cabella, California Historical Radio Society, History San José, Steve Kushman, The Museum of American Heritage, Don Pettee, and John Schneider.

Visit https://www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/radio for more information on the exhibition.

On the Radio is located post-security in Terminal 3, Departures Level, San Francisco International Airport.  This exhibition is accessible to ticketed passengers from March 10, 2018 - September 30, 2018.

SFO Museum
SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and presenting educational services for the traveling public.  The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport.  Today, SFO Museum features approximately twenty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation.  To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit www.flysfo.com/museum. Follow us on www.facebook.com/SFOMuseum, www.twitter.com/SFOMuseum, or www.instagram.com/SFOMuseum.