Tag Archives: Voice of America Museum

Radio Waves: VOA Museum a Historic Marvel, 1BCG Special Event Report, BBC Centenary Celebration, and Czech Radio Turns Off MW and LW

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors David Iurescia, Mark Erdle, and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:


Voice heard ’round the world: Voice of America museum near Cincinnati a historical marvel (The Columbus Dispatch)

WEST CHESTER, Ohio — Imagine, if you will, a voice so strong that it shakes the very foundations of global tyranny.

In the early days of World War II, a group of Americans, including President Franklin Roosevelt, actor and director John Houseman and Cincinnati entrepreneur Powell Crosley Jr. imagined such a voice, one that could counter Nazi propaganda in Hitler’s own backyard.

They named it The Voice of America.

Today, the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting, 8070 Tylersville Road, occupies the site from which the service beamed its message around the world for 50 years beginning in 1944, recounting its history and remembering the people, especially Crosley, who made it possible. [Continue reading…]

100th Anniversary Celebration of the First Trans-Atlantic Radio
Transmission of a Message by Amateur Radio (1BCG.org)

Saturday, December 11, 2021

On a cold winter night on December 11, 1921, members of the Radio Club of America were able to send the first amateur radio message from a small shack in Greenwich, CT to be received by American Paul Godley in Ardrossan, Scotland. This transatlantic test proved the value of shorter wavelengths – long considered worthless to long distance communications and through their success ushered in the age of global shortwave radio communications. The 1921 message was sent one-way. Acknowledgment of Paul Godley’s reception of 1BCG’s massage was sent back to the US via the Marconi high power radio transmitter in Wales.

The Antique Wireless Association, in association with the Vintage Radio and communications Museum of Connecticut (VRCMCT) in Windsor, CT, the Radio Club of America, the American Radio Relay League, and the Radio Society of Great Britain, participated in the 100th Anniversary special events held Saturday, December 11, 2021.

For the 75 th anniversary celebration of the 1BCG accomplishment in 1996, AWA members Bob and Mike Raide constructed a replica of the 1921 transmitter. For this 100th celebration, AWA Museum Staff restored the replica. The VRCMCT in Windsor CT has graciously offered to host AWA operation of the replica transmitter during the evening of December 11th. The 1BCG replica transmitter was placed on public display at the VRCMCT Museum during the day of Saturday December 11, 2021. [Continue reading the full report at the 1BCG website…]

Celebrations to mark the BBC’s Centenary began at midday today (1/1/2022) via shortwave radio (Southgate ARC)

BBC Radio 4 announcer/newsreader, Jim Lee, launched special event amateur radio station GB100BBC, from the BBC’s Broadcasting House, in London, at exactly midday.

Listen to the broadcast:
GB100BBC launches 1st Jan 2022
With thanks to the London BBC Radio Group

Within minutes amateur radio stations around the UK and throughout Europe were clamouring to contact the special BBC station and secure a prized entry in the logbook.

The London BBC Radio Group was granted an extended special event radio licence by the regulator OFCOM, to operate the station throughout 2022.

The amateur radio activity is one of many events organised to celebrate 100 years of the BBC, which began broadcasting from Savoy Hill in 1922 as the British Broadcasting Company, moving to the iconic Broadcasting House in 1932, gaining a Royal Charter as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The London BBC Radio Group has a growing membership which includes engineers, journalists, producers and on-air talent in both TV and Radio. The group is independent but hosted and supported by the Corporation.

The group was launched in 2017 by a handful of radio enthusiasts to revive a long and rich history of amateur radio at the BBC dating back to the Second World War.

The ‘radio shack’ at the BBC’s headquarters, Broadcasting House in central London, was officially opened by the then Director General, Lord Tony Hall, with an over-the-air message of congratulations. Lord Hall was subsequently bestowed Honorary membership of the club. [Click here to read at the Southgate ARC…]

Czech radio switches off MW and LW as 2022 starts (Mike Terry via the Southgate ARC)

Prague (dpa) – Radio reception on medium wave (MW) and long wave (LW) has been history in many parts of Europe for years.

Now, in the Czech Republic, at least the public broadcaster will stop transmitting on MW and LW as the new year starts on Saturday.

The powerful transmitters on the frequencies 270, 639 and 954 kilohertz could also be received in large parts of Germany.

The reason given for the move was the widespread availability of terrestrial digital radio DAB+ and the high costs of broadcasting.

Those still listening using medium waves were to be persuaded to switch with a campaign. The radio station Cesky Rozhlas set up a telephone hotline to answer questions.

It was not known at first whether the transmitters would be retained or used for other purposes.

The antenna of the medium-wave transmitter Liblice B east of Prague is considered the highest structure in the Czech Republic, with a height of 355 metres.

Impuls, the most-listened to private radio station, wants to remain faithful to medium wave for the time being. It broadcasts its second programme, with pop and country music, on analogue transmission.

Click here to read at DPA-International.com.


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VOA Museum featured in Atlas Obscura

VOA Bethany

(Source Atlas Obscura via Paul Evans W4/VP9KF)

The former Voice of America broadcast site at Bethany Station is now a museum. It covers the history and role of Voice of America, as well as the history of broadcast and radio itself.

Tucked into the former equipment bays are row upon row of early radio examples. You’ll spot everything from early broadcast equipment to novelty radios from the ’70s.

From 1944 to 1994, the site was used to broadcast news and information to Europe and North Africa. It was originally run by the Office of War Information. Adolf Hitler complained after a Cincinnati broadcaster impersonated him.

In 1963, the Voice of America took direct control of the broadcast facility. Using the expertise of the local Crosley Broadcasting Corporation’s engineers, enormous 250-kilowatt transmitters were built.

Although the towers were torn down in 1998, the Art Deco broadcast building remains, and houses the Amateur Radio Association, Media Heritage, and the Gray History of Wireless collections call the facility home.[…]

Click here to read the full article in Atlas Obscura.

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VOA Museum to host 75th anniversary commemoration of D-Day on June 6

(Source: Southgate ARC)

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester will host a 75th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landing on Thursday, June 6 at 9 a.m. on the museum’s front lawn.

The event sponsored by Kehoe Financial Advisors of Cincinnati will honor the memory of WW II soldiers who participated in D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, as well as veterans of all wars.

After a color guard presentation by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7696 and a brief ceremony, veterans and other attendees will be invited inside the museum for free coffee, donuts and museum tours until noon.
The public is invited.

Coffee will be donated by CAVU of West Chester, with donuts provided by Kroger stores in Sharonville and on Tylervsille Road in West Chester.

“D-Day was the largest seaborne invasion in the history of the world and put Allied troops on the trajectory to win World War II,” said Ken Rieser, VOA Museum board president. “The sacrifice in human life that day alone is sobering—about 4,500 Allied soldiers and from 3,000 to 9,000 Nazi troops.”

During Operation Overlord, which occurred from the June 6, 1944 D-Day landing through August 30, 1944, when German troops retreated east across the Seine River, more than 425,000 Allied and German troops died, according to Barrett Tillman’s D-Day Encyclopedia (2014, Regnery Publishing), on www.HistoryontheNet.com. About 209,000 were estimated to be Allied troops.

“Although many of the soldiers who participated in D-Day are no longer with us, we want to commemorate their sacrifice—as well as the sacrifices of all veterans in all wars since then,” said Tom Keller of Kehoe Financial Advisors. “D-Day is a solemn day, but also an uplifting reminder of what our country can accomplish when we band together for a just cause.”

RSVPs are requested by noon on Wednesday, June 5 for the D-Day commemoration at admin@voamuseum.org to ensure adequate food and beverages.

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VOA Museum presentation April 9, 2019: “Theatre of the Mind: Sound Effects During Radio’s Golden Age”

(Source: Southgate ARC)

A National VOA Museum of Broadcasting Media Heritage presentation

A horse clip-clops down a cobblestoned street. Muffled shouts of street vendors calling out their wares rise up, then fade out.

A long time ago, before the age of the internet—and even before the age of television– radio comedies and dramas entertained the masses by creating stories and situations that relied on the listener’s imagination.

The tools used to help paint those audio landscapes were called sound effects.

The public is invited to join Cincinnati radio historian, WMKV producer and sound effects artist Mike Martini, president of the National Voice of America’s Museum of Broadcasting’s Media Heritage Collection, at “Theater of the Mind: Sound Effects During Radio’s Golden Age” on Tuesday, April 9 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the VOA museum in West Chester.

Martini will talk about the history of radio sound effects and demonstrate how some of the more popular effects were made.

Audience members will have a chance to try their hands at creating the effects, too. The event is free, but seating is limited. Donations are requested.

The VOA museum is open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at 8070 Tylersville Road in West Chester. General admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children. Museum docents are needed. They are trained on the history of the Voice of America, its technology at the VOA Bethany station, and the history of wireless radio and Cincinnati’s radio and TV broadcast history.

The VOA museum will host its fourth annual fundraiser, “75 Years of Rockin’ the Radio,” on Saturday, Sept. 21. Sponsorships are now available.

For more information on becoming a docent, a fundraiser sponsor or to reserve event seats, email admin@voamuseum.org or call (513) 777-0027.

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Voice of America Museum director to present history of Bethany transmitting station

(Source: Cincinnati.com)

If you’ve ever wondered why the VOA-Bethany Station needed a secured, square mile of land surrounding its 1944 art deco building in West Chester, Jack Dominic has the answer.

Dominic, the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting director, will speak on the “History of the VOA-Bethany Station and the VOA Museum Today” Wednesday, April 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the MidPointe Library in West Chester’s community room.

The free event is the second of a four-part series, “The Voice of Truth in America: Celebrating 75 Years of the VOA Bethany Station,” with the MidPointe Library System.

The VOA museum hosts other free events this year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the VOA-Bethany Station, which now houses the Cold War-era history and broadcasting museum.

“From World War II through the Cold War, the VOA-Bethany Station played a vastly important role in transmitting real news via shortwave radio to people living in countries that lacked a free press,” said Ken Rieser, VOA museum board president. “And it all started here in Cincinnati, with two brothers who developed the technology that evolved into the commercial radio industry.”[…]

The VOA museum will host its fourth annual “75 Years of Rockin’ the Radio” fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 21, with dinner and dancing. Sponsorships are now available.

Museum hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at 8070 Tylersville Road. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children.

For a complete schedule of 2019 VOA museum events, “The Voice of Truth in America,” series and WCARA events, visit www.voamuseum.org, www.midpointelibrary.org and www.wc8VOA.org.

Read the full new release at Cincinnati.com.

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VOA Museum ‘Rock the Radio’ fundraiser gala September 22

(Source: Southgate ARC via Richard Langley)

Event to be held on 74th anniversary of VOA-Bethany Station dedication

Whether you engaged in dance parties in the 50s, sock-hopped through the 60s, or grooved to music of the 70s, chances are that radio provided the music of the moment.

It also meant a lifeline of accurate Voice of America news, features and music for people living in war-torn or oppressed countries.

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester will host its second annual fundraiser, “Rock the Radio” dinner-and-dance party on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the VOA museum in West Chester. Blue Stone Ivory, Cincinnati’s premier horn-driven classic rock band, will provide music from the Cold War era to help celebrate the 74 th anniversary of the VOA-Bethany Station.

“We’ll have a cocktail reception in the museum, a fabulous dinner and irresistible dance music that will keep people tapping their toes or entice them out onto the dance floor,” said Jack Dominic, museum executive director. “Funds go toward museum renovation to make the first floor accessible to people of all abilities.”

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting gala committee. From left, back row: Greg Stevens, Chris Wunnenberg; Jack Dominic; Karl Ulrich. Front row: Patti Alderson and Melinda Zemper

The evening also includes the official opening of the museum’s new main exhibit hall and a private viewing of a Cold War exhibit supported by the U.S. Coast Guard’s alumni association for the USS Courier. The Courier was a floating Voice of America radio station stationed off the coast of Greece near the Panama Canal Zone from 1952-1964. It was tasked to defeat Soviet jamming near VOA target areas and contained a barrage balloon that held its medium-wave antenna aloft.

“Here in the U.S., we remember radio as entertainment, but it was a crucial way the Voice of America communicated throughout World War II and the Cold War to our troops and allies overseas and to people who lived in countries without a free press,” said Ken Rieser, president of the VOA museum board. “We want to recognize our nation’s commitment to tell the truth in media and educate people in countries where media is censored about what was going on in the world.”

Cost is $150 per person or $300 per couple, with various levels of sponsorship available for individuals, businesses and organizations. Sponsors so far include: Patti and Dick Alderson; Barbara and Larry Kellar; Mr. Mechanic; Oak Tree Communications; Sebaly, Shillito and Dyer; and Greg and Diane Stevens; Gary and Dee West; and Chris and Sandie Wunnenberg.

Sponsorship levels are: Platinum, $10,000; Gold, $8,000; Silver, $5000; and Bronze, $1,000. Sponsor recognition ranges run from free gala tickets, inclusion in the printed program, billing in all public relations and signage, recognition from the podium, logo inclusion on the museum website, and tables for 10 guests.

For 50 years, the VOA-Bethany Station transmitted Voice of America broadcasts to countries worldwide that lacked a free press, first in Europe during World War II and to South America during the Cold War. It was decommissioned by the federal government in 1994.

The iconic art deco building has been developed into the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting with the help of the entire community, mostly with volunteer labor. The Smith Family Foundation recently awarded the museum a $5,000 grant for education, event programming and exhibit development.

The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. at 8070 Tylersville Road. Museum general admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children. The museum recently added three new docents, but is still accepting more docent volunteers.

For more information about gala sponsorships, tickets, or to volunteer, email admin@voamuseum.org , call Dominic at (513) 777-0027, or go to www.voamuseum.org.

Also, check out this article in Radio World.

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Clyde Haehnle: Loss of a broadcasting icon

(Source: The VOA Museum via David Snyde)

Museum Icon Passes Away

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting mourns the loss of one of its major leaders and benefactors. Clyde Haehnle passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 8th.   Over the years, this icon in the development of broadcasting technology, not only locally but nationally, was the driving force behind the museum.

A veteran broadcasting engineer and executive, Mr. Haehnle was instrumental in the early meteoric development of Powel Crosley’s WLW. While working at WLW, fresh out of electrical engineering school at the University of Cincinnati, he was assigned in 1942 to work on design and construction of VOA-Bethany Station, the transmission facility of the newly- minted Voice of America. The facility operated from 1944 thru 1994 and beamed programs worldwide from the highest power shortwave transmitters built in the world at that time.

The rhombic antenna design requiring extensive mathematical calculations fell to Mr. Haehnle. His work accomplished with pencil, paper and a slide rule resulted in some of the most efficient antenna arrays ever built and enabled the VOA programs transmitted from the hilltop north of Cincinnati to be heard by eager listeners worldwide. P of Engineering at AVCO Broadcasting. He held many patents in electronic technology and continued to be a curious and thoughtful proponent of technology well into his ninth decade.

Mr. Haehnle’s untiring leadership and support has enabled the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting to develop into a rich educational institution celebrating the role broadcasting has made in the dissemination of programs globally encouraging democratic principles to truth-starved audiences.

The Museum plans a celebration of Mr. Haehnle’s extraordinary life later this spring.

Read more about Clyde.

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