Thursday, August 6, 2009


Static electricity was a parlor room curiosity. People played with it but some people, (Marconi, Franklin, Edison, and a host of others,) built rudimentary machines to play with it. Voila! Electricity, power, radio, television, computers, cell phones and all the rest of what we take for granted. Thankfully they were persistently curious and delved deeper into the mysteries of a phenomena they didn't understand. The American Museum Of Radio And Electricity, located in Bellingham's Arts and Culture District spans four centuries of scientific achievement in such a way that we readily relate to the technical machines and exhibits housed there, over 1,200 items.
They have so many "firsts" such as the first radio in an airplane, pictured above.
An exact replica of Morse's telegraph.
Edison.s demonstration light from 1879. Even then, people didn't think it would amount to much.

The museum has the first payphone. This one was an improved version.
Many of us can still remember the party line if not the old phone.
The first G.E. Toaster for the consumer market.
An early portable radio hardly looks portable.

This wonderful museum moves you from the discovery of electricity to modern technology in such a way that a child can understand it. It contains interactive exhibits such as the static electricity machine Jim is playing with. The docents demonstrate working radios, musical instruments and lead children through building small electronic games.
Displayed here are the scam artists that sold electric brushes and shock treatments to cure headaches.
Jim's blog, has a short video from the museum's player piano.

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