The Museum of Broadcast Communications: Putting the Radio and TV back in the museum

IMG_0612Just last year the Museum of Broadcast Communications reopened its doors to the public in a downtown space near Google Inc. no less. The museum includes the Radio Hall of Fame and a chance to be an ABC newscaster along with some favorite Chicago children’s shows.

Entering on the bottom floor is the reception desk, head up the stairs to see a work of public art with IMG_0611old televisions and radios created to be the John Hancock Tower made specifically for the museum. The second floor is compromised of the Radio Hall of Fame. Famous disc jockeys, comedians such as Edgar Bergen with the ventriloquist dummy, Charlie McCarthy, and radio broadcast personalities such as Studs Terkel are just a few of the inductees. Mostly older radio sets, the plaques of the inductees, and a few artifacts from past radio programs show are present. CMB is excited to see what the museum will do with the Radio Hall of Fame once they acquire more artifacts and receive more funding.

IMG_0603The third floor is the TV and broadcast area covering over fifty years of television. By far, the most visual section is”Looking for a Smaller Audience” featuring the Chicago pioneers of children’s shows in the 1950s and 60s such as Bozo’s Circus and Garfield Goose. These gave way to the popular  shows that we know today like Sesame Street and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Every kid in Chicago remembers  some decade of Bozo’s Circus! This sections reaches audiences from the Baby Boomers to the Millennial generations!

Other highlights include an Associated Press wire machine that has the actual bulletin of the IMG_0599November 22, 1963 death of President Kennedy. The shop of the Polk Bros. front window display and parabolic sound spheres featuring musicIMG_0607 from Chicago stations such as The National Barn Dance with Johnny Cash and classic television shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show. Take a seat under the dish and watch, listen, and relax.

The last great add on is becoming a news caster for a day for the ABC News team. Take a look at CMB’s own Heather Kendall and Scott Winterroth!



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