I am happy to see that American Museum of Radio is alive and kicking up the Washington coast in beautiful downtown Bellingham. I wsas inspired to google for this place in the wake of reading the teasers for the intriguing-sounding The Phantom Museum, a book featured on the Things Magazine web site.

I visited the radio museum several years ago, and it was a sterling example of the vernacular museum. It’s based on a quite excessively large collection of antique radio and electricity gear; on the day I visited there were two people puttering amidst the cabinets and so forth, In the back was an individual who was clearly in charge. We talked about the internet and he showed me an amazing device, a radio modem. At the time the museum was reflecting some old-time radio program streams (possibly from Shoutcast but it’s quite possible the visit was before they came into existence).

Most wonderfully, that internet feed was also being rebroadcast from a low-wattage transceiver just outside of town, so at the time it was possible to drive around Bellingham listening to Fibber McGee and Molly and the strains of Benny Goodman at the Savoy, an audio timewarp that was on the airwaves via the internet, a conundrum I’ve savored happily ever since.

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