Radio Contact: Tuning in to Politics, Technology, & Culture

Radio Contact: Tuning In to a Politics, Technology, & Culture

Remember the times when the whole family gathered round the living room radio to listen to Roosevelt's fireside chats or detective dramas like The Shadow? When boys (and sometimes girls) tinkered with ham radio in garages in order to talk to people across the country?  When commercial, underground, and political networks broadcast to a fragmented society, giving voice to diverse ideas and music, which anyone could sample?

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  • Radio Contact: Amateur Radio Literature
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  • Radio Contact: Aerial Antenna
  • Radio Contact: Central Case

Radio Contact explores those times then and now.  Showcasing radio equipment from the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, the exhibition examines the evolving technology and cultures of listening, tinkering, and broadcasting.  Radio introduced millions to jazz, the comedic brio of Abbott and Costello, the iconic voice of newsman Edward R. Murrow, and the shock therapy of talk radio. Come and tune in to a radio culture and history that is still vibrant and yet being redefined on the Internet. 

Radio Contact In the Media >>>

When America tuned into the radio, The Harvard Gazette, 11/8/2016
Now on the air: The Women, The Harvard Gazette, 10/28/2016
Panelists Highlight Legacy of Women's Radio Project, The Harvard Crimson, 10/26/2016
Spinning the Radio Dial at Harvard, The Boston Globe, 5/26/2016
Tuning In: The Intersection of Art & Science Through Radio, Leeds Beckett University, Media Centre, 4/21/2016

Before Social Media, Harvard Magazine, May/June 2016
New Harvard Exhibit Narrates the Story of Boston Radio,, 3/10/2016
Exhibit on the Influence of the Radio Opens Friday, The Harvard Crimson, 3/10/2016


Radio Contact on SoundCloudListen to "Radio Contact:
Sounds, Stories, & Perspectives from the Boston Airwaves



Sara J. Schechner, David P. Wheatland Curator, CHSI
Devin Kennedy, Wheatland Curatorial Fellow
Mia Metivier, Curatorial and Exhibition Intern


Samantha van Gerbig, Designer & Photographer




Halsey Burgund, Sound Artist
Brandon Stafford & Michael Grasso

Sounds, Stories, and Perspectives from the Boston Airwaves
Ian Coss, Producer and Editor


David P. Wheatland Charitable Trust
Harvard Museums of Science & Culture
Anonymous Donor




March 11 through December 9, 2016

Special Exhibition Gallery, Science Center 251