Last night my husband and I attended a fund-raising event for the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum in Windsor Connecticut. My husband’s been a member of this wonderful non-profit institution since it’s near-inception. It’s run by the very capable hands of John Ellsworth and Chris Watts.
There were vendors present selling hand-crafted jewelry and candles. Also, there were two separate tables for wine and chocolate tastings.
I tried both.
I also wandered into a small studio featuring gazillions of wires and boxes with nobs and screens and a computer. This was the ham radio station. A gentleman named Chris came in and demoed for us, he got “on air” but explained the night atmosphere wasn’t conducive to bringing in clear signals at the moment. Even so, he chatted with someone from New Jersey and another operator in the Mid-west.
The museum houses a display following early radio with TONS of examples from the 1920’s up to the 1960’s. I spotted a small brown radio with a baseball player silhouette on it. I commented to my husband that I bet it was a popular collectible in its day. Whereupon Mike replied: “That’s a $900. radio, John’s son found it at the garbage dump.”
The museum also has a display of vintage hi-fi curated by Robert Pienkowski, an avid fan, member of the museum and collector himself. And it has a sound studio in the works as well as a TV station. This museum has everything to teach young ones-and remind the old ones- about early American communication systems.
As the jazz trio played into the night, Mike and I set up the magnets on an authentic old refrigerator that I designed as a donated gift to the museum. This fully operational vintage refrigerator was restored by another member who fixes up these nifty relics and this one-filled with fresh soda pop made in New Britain, Connecticut.
If you get a chance, stop on by the museum! You won’t regret your time spent there.