Campus News

Classic radios on display at special collections libraries

Radio exhibition audion-h
An exhibit of radios from the early 1900s

An exhibit of radios from the early 1900s, the beginning of the age of electronic mass communication, is on display at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

The Pennington Radio Collection features tube radios, external speakers and other artifacts dating from 1913 to 1933, restored by the late Claude L. Pennington Jr. of Macon. A physician who specialized in microsurgery of the inner ear, Pennington was fascinated by another intricate mechanism: the tube radio.

“The triode vacuum tube, invented in 1906, sits at the headwaters of the electronic age,” said archivist Mary Miller of the Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. “These radios, many of them exemplars of the design sensibilities of their era, offered a dynamic and immediate connection to the modern world and set the stage for the television and information revolutions that would follow.”

Radios on exhibit, many approaching 100 years old, were crafted of materials such as mahogany, brass and bakelite and are in working order. The exhibition will be on display through December.