The Asheville Radio Museum, one of Asheville's premier specialty museums, housing a ham and vintage radio collection, celebrated its 20th anniversary during celebrations in September. Asheville Mayor, Esther E. Manheimer, proclaimed September as Asheville Radio Museum Month within the city.
In her proclamation, Manheimer highlights The Asheville Radio Museum as an organization that "attracts and entertains visitors to the city while teaching about a technical and social phenomenon that transformed the world in the early 20th century. The Asheville Radio Museum, she continued, "is a learning resource for the local community and provides outreach to various local groups such as homes for the elderly, church groups, history groups."
The Southern Appalachian Radio Museum, as it was initially known, was founded by the late Carl Smith, an Asheville transplant from St. Joseph, Mo. The idea for the museum began when Smith and his wife, Miriam, purchased a mid-1930s radio receiver in disrepair. The couple, both amateur radio operators, skillfully restored the radio to its original working and physical condition. Miriam suggested to her husband that he accumulate more classic radios and open a museum to showcase them. And with the help of other ham radio friends, the Southern Appalachian Radio Museum was born.
"When we first envisioned a radio museum, we had no idea that it would continue to grow and still exist 20-years later," said Museum Co-founder Clint Gorman. "This museum's success is a testament to Carl and the many radio enthusiasts who have followed to keep the lights on through their voluntary labor and dedication, funding from hams around the Southeast, and support from A-B Tech. I couldn't be prouder of what we've achieved."
About The Asheville Radio Museum:
Founded in 2001, the Asheville Radio Museum provides visitors of all ages with a personalized learning experience about the economic and cultural impact of radio technology like enabling cell phones, GPS, Bluetooth, and more. The museum holds more than 100 vintage amateur and commercial radios from the early to the mid-20th century. The not-for-profit, free admittance museum is located on the campus of A-B Tech. Information on open hours and private tours by appointment is available at avlradiomuseum.org.