Located within the Dr. Max Bodmer Library, the Media Center is described below.
There’s something “new” in the air of the AWA Media Center. It’s the sound of historic audio programs. AWA has created an audiovisual archival department to consolidate, catalog, shelve, and undertake the process of digitizing the thousands of hours of communications programs held by the Museum. Program material includes interviews of noteworthy technology pioneers, reports on historic technology, talks and presentations including slide shows, radio airchecks and more. These programs are stored on audio and photographic media including cylinders, disks, wire, tape, slides, films, CED disks, LaserDiscs, CDs, DVDs and files. Many of these storage media have begun a slow physical degradation so the AWA has begun to digitize them.
The AWA is exploring ways of allowing members to access select recorded assets via the Internet as licensing allows. Criss Onan is the AWA Audiovisual Archivist.
Heard in the AV Studio
Microphones at AWA
The Antique Wireless Museum holds many vintage microphones such as this early one from WHAM in Rochester, NY.
To provide a better idea of how some of the finest vintage microphones compare in sound, AWA member Bill Baker (below at home)
provided this “shout-out” video which is posed on the AWA YouTube channel.
The video features models from Neuman, Shure, RCA and Western Electric.
1938 WOR NYC interview with J.R. Poppele
WQXR’s first station-built AM transmitter
The AWA YouTube channel features a 1992 presentation by then WQXR Director of Engineering Herb Squire with audio clips demonstrating how much better broadcast AM stations’ audio sounded fifty years ago.
Bill Jaker’s “We Didn’t Say Goodbye”
Bill left the Antique Wireless Museum several thousand broadcast-related books, records and tapes when he died last year..
Poppele was hired by Bamberger’s department store in Newark, NJ in 1922 to build a radio station for the company. Poppele later built WOR-FM, WOR-TV and several other stations and became a broadcast industry leader.
A photo essay about WOR can be seen below.
Sparkling Like A Diamond
After reading of the AWA audio archival efforts in the December issue of the Journal, AWA member Craig Maier has donated a software license for Diamond Cut Audio Restoration Tools v10.6 audio restoration tools. Maier is president of Diamond Cut Productions, Inc.: www.diamondcut.com.
The AWA invitation may have been “lost” but the AWA has a limited-edition vinyl recording of David Sarnoff and his wife’s 1967 fiftieth anniversary.
Sarnoff led RCA for about its first 50 years. He maintained that he wrote a memo referred to as “Music In A Box” that first defined radio broadcasting.
The AWA recently received a donation of a CBS Radio Net Alert system. Net Alert was a system used by CBS to alert its affiliates around the country to an upcoming news bulletin.
This particular one probably first alerted Finger Lakes residents in New York State listening to the CBS station there of the assassination of President Kennedy.
The YouTube video below is a play-back of the alert regarding the death of JFK.
No Static At All
Recordings of fascinating tests in the development of FM broadcasting have been donated to the AWA. The tests were made by Major Edwin Armstrong who is credited as the developer of the wideband frequency modulation system that continues to be used by broadcasters today. Here’s a link to those test recordings:
So Long Bill
Former AWA Audio-video archivist and radio raconteur Bill Jaker has died. He had a long broadcast career in radio and TV. He was also a co-author of the book “Airwaves of New York” which has become a reference for early radio stations in and around NYC. Bill left the museum several thousand broadcast-related books, records and tapes.