Coming in Fall 2023

Special Collections

The Museum of Information Explosion’s special collections include many rare vintage artifacts and antiques which enable visitors to trace the evolution of communication technology across history. 


  1. The Many Inventions of Thomas Edison

Edison often said that the phonograph was his favorite invention. It impacted the average home nearly as much as the lightbulb. The MIE displays about a dozen edison phonographs including the simple Fireplace model, the ornate OPERA model and the large Concert cylinder player as well as several Diamond Disc phonos.  


  1. Blue Arcturus Vacuum Tubes

The vacuum tube was a necessary part of early radio used to amplify an electric signal. We display hundreds of early vacuum tubes. This includes the early pre-RMA tubes, the 99 series and the prolific 01A which had over 300 trade names. We also display a grouping of the beautiful Blue Arcturus tubes.


  1. Cathedral Radios

 A grouping of roughly 49 cathedral radios from over 20 unique manufactures captures the beauty of this cabinet form. They were primarily manufactured from 1931 to 1934  and are generally considered the most attractive radios produced.


4.Superheterodyne Radio 

The MIE houses about 6 of the very early superheterodyne radios.  These radios made from 1922 to 1930 are highly collectable due to their more complex circuitry and their methods of avoiding patent infringement from RCA.


  1. Tuned Radio Frequency (TRF) Radios

Nearly 100 TRF radios are displayed to characterize the most common radio design of the 20’s.  This was the first radio form that was extensively manufactured for home use.


  1. Novelty Radios

A selection of vintage radios with unique cabinets that told a story of their own.


  1. Portable Radios

Over 30 radios with a special design that Major Armstrong himself introduced ( hyperlink blog post) to Mr. Sarnoff that would later have a lasting impact on the radio industry. 


  1. Military Radios

Radio has played an important role in military operations beginning with WW1.  A complete 1918 airborne radio station including air to ground and pilot to copilot is displayed in the museum.


  1. Western Electric Phones

We display over a dozen Western Electric phones spanning 7 decades.  Manufactured for the Bell system parent company AT&T the quality and performance of these telephones were the driving force that catapulted AT&T to later become the largest corporation in the world.


10.Phonograph Cylinder Records

A collection of over 250 Edison cylinder records demonstrate his initial format for sound recording.  These recordings helped to shape the early days of musical entertainment as well as education and religious programs.


  1. Edison Diamond Discs

A vast array of Edison Diamond Disc recordings is available for visitors.  This format spanned a period of 18 years and offered genres from polkas to operas from comedy to sermons and from military brass bands to classical instrumentals.


12.Phonograph Needle Tins

The simple and inexpensive needle that was used to play a recording once or twice then discarded arrived in colorful and ornate metal tins.  We feature hundreds of examples from around the globe.