Asheville Radio Museum Celebrates its 20-Year Anniversary this Summer

The Asheville Radio Museum, one of Asheville's premier specialty museums, housing a ham and vintage radio collection, will mark its 20th anniversary this summer

A-B Tech students and staff are invited to a celebration from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9 in the museum in Elm 315. The museum will host a public celebration from Noon-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11. Admission and parking are free. 

In addition to seeing and learning about many fascinating items on display, you can:

  • See a ham radio station in operation
  • Create radio waves with an electric spark transmitter
  • Tap out your name in Morse Code
  • Listen to a foreign radio station on a shortwave radio
  • Listen for the fire department and paramedic communications on a vintage 'scanner' radio
  • See the radio that saved lives during World War II
  • See the Nazi propaganda radio that could result in your death if caught listening to a foreign station
  • Listen to a hundred-year-old Thomas Edison phonograph
  • Take home a souvenir vacuum tube
  • And so much more!

For more details, go to the anniversary page on its website.

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

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