VOA Broadcasting Museum Open Saturday For Tours

Jul 16, 2015

Six-foot tall Rudy and Teaser puppets created for Cincinnati TV host Larry Smith greet visitors at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting.
Credit John Kiesewetter

You can see Uncle Al and Captain Windy’s “Uncle Al Show” costumes, Jerry Thomas’ “Granny” dress, Larry Smith’s puppets, the old Voice of America control room and antique radios at the monthly open house 1-4 p.m. Saturday at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester Township.

Baby Boomers will see lots of cool stuff in this little-known museum:  Silky varsity-style jackets from WLW-AM, WKRC-AM, WSAI-FM, WUBE-FM and WGRR-FM; life-size cardboard cut-outs of Nick Clooney and Ruth Lyons; Jim Scott’s microphone and headphones; the 1950s radar used by WLW-TV (Channel 5); VOA transmitters and photos; a 1980s TV station control room; and 100 years of radios, some predating the first Crosley models in the early 1920s.

The Greater Cincinnati and Ohio Museum of Broadcasting area inside the yellow Art Deco landmark includes a photo gallery of 100 Cincinnati broadcasting greats such as, and entertainers Red Skelton, Rich King, Bonnie Lou Okum, Red Barber, Peter Grant, Don Herman, Chet Atkins, Fats Waller, Eddie Albert, Earl Hamner, the Mills Brothers and Grandpa Jones.

If you’re planning to visit, note that “during the construction phase there could be some mobility and access issues for some guests,” according to the VOA site.

Here are a few of my favorites from my June tour:

A life-size promotional cut-out of Cincinnati TV variety show host Nick Clooney offers a discount on Green Magic all-purpose cleaner. Nearby is a similar life-size cut-out of Ruth Lyons promotes Star-Kist Tuna.
Credit John Kiesewetter
This old Crosley radio had preset buttons for Crosley’s WLW-AM and four other Cincinnati AM stations. It also received police and amateur radio broadcasts and international signals.
Credit John Kiesewetter

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Visitors sit in this 1960s VOA control room and hear how the Voice of America station was built in the 1940s during World War II by Crosley engineers.
Credit John Kiesewetter
“Uncle Al” Lewis and wife Wanda “Captain Windy” Lewis wore these costumes on WCPO-TV’s live “Uncle Al Show” weekday mornings for 35 years (1950-85).
Credit John Kiesewetter

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting, 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester Township, is one mile east of Interstate 75.

The museum is open 1-4 p.m. the third Saturday every month. Admission is $5; children under 12 are $1.

For information go to the VOA museum website call 513-777-0027.