"This is America... where you can listen to your radio in your living room," 1941-1945. Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration.


This exhibition was created by Hillary Brady, a graduate of Brown University’s Public Humanities M.A. program, as part of her DPLA research assistantship.


Brady, Hillary. The Golden Age of Radio in the US. Digital Public Library of America. May 2014.

Tuning into the radio is now an integrated part of our everyday lives. We tune in while we drive, while we work, while we cook in our kitchens. Just 100 years ago, it was a novelty to turn on a radio. The radio emerged at the turn of the twentieth century, the result of decades of scientific experimentation with the theory that information could be transmitted over long distances. Radio as a medium reached its peak—the so-called Radio Golden Age—during the Great Depression and World War II. This was a time when the world was rapidly changing, and for the first time Americans experienced those history-making events as they happened. The emergence and popularity of radio shifted not just the way Americans across the country experienced news and entertainment, but also the way they communicated. This exhibition explores the development, rise, and adaptation of the radio, and its impact on American culture.