Come Explore the Magic

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Why Visit a Radio Museum?

"...If someone had the time and money it would be a beautiful thing to assemble a radio museum.  A profitable afternoon might be spent walking through such an interesting collection and looking over the various types of radio apparatus from the days of Hertz down to our latest Super-Hetereodyne and present day commercial sending station equipment.  It would be an education complete in itself.   We would smile, and perhaps laugh, at the original model coherer, or the primal tuning coil, or the first sending and receiving sets.  Just so, the imaginary visitor who visited this radio museum twenty-five years from now would smile at our present efforts, if he did not laugh out loud."


Hugo Gernsback

Editor, Radio News magazine

February, 1925

The museum is now CLOSED FOR THE WINTER on Saturdays.
But, tourists can request a special visit time using the Contact Form
at the bottom of this web page.
We reopen on Saturdays beginning February 5, 2022.



STEM Students and Group Tours Welcome!

Virtual Tour Using Your Smart Phone

Ham Clubs - Use the Contact Form below

to request a Zoom virtual museum tour for your club meeting.

Copyright 2021 Southern Appalachian Radio Museum Inc.

All rights reserved.

Asheville logo.jpg


Hear the exciting story of how invisible radio waves were first theorized, then proven in the lab, then used to contact ships at sea and even send messages across the ocean!  Try you hand at Morse code (dots and dashes use to send messages).  See a replica of the first radio wave detector and how it works.  Learn about the huge impact of radio in the 1920s on rural western North Carolina.

See more than 50 transmitters and receivers, beginning with an early 1900 spark gap transmitter for Morse code.  See a working ham station and learn how hams can work through the internet and even contact the international space station!  And, we can explain how YOU can become a ham, joining more than 700,000 hams worldwide.

Try your hand at tuning a hundred year old "crystal" radio, or a 1920's farm radio (hint:  it takes turning three separate tuning dials).  Listen to famous old radio broadcasts such as the wreck of the Hindenberg blimp, President Rosevelt declaring WW II, or funny old radio comedy shows.  Learn about WWNC, the area's first radio station (still broadcasting today).



Opened to the public in 2001 by a small group of amateur radio operators, we have evolved from being a collection into a teaching museum, where people of all ages can learn about the history of radio technology and wonder at the equipment and how it evolved.  Our mission is:

  • To foster an understanding of the technology and history of amateur and commercial radio development and an appreciation of the impact this has had.

  • By collecting and preserving radio equipment, advertising and other memorabilia, in an education-oriented museum, with hands-on displays and a working ham station

  • And, through outreach, offering education programs and tours for interested students.

  • In doing so, stimulate student interest in science, technology and engineering (STEM).

Read a QST article about the museum.


Year Established


Ham Radios
on Display


Vintage Home Radios


Cool Things






  • SEE the vintage equipment you love (and maybe used!).

  • WATCH a live ham station.

  • LEARN how hams help in emergencies.

  • FIND OUT how YOU can easily become a ham!

  • LEARN how Heinrich Hertz proved invisible radio waves exist.

  • WATCH a spark transmitter cause a Marconi device detect a radio wave.

  • SEE a 1907 Morse Code "ticker tape."

  • LEARN how newly invented radio saved lives when the Titanic sank!

  • SEE the first home "crystal" radios (no batteries required!).

  • TUNE an early battery operated farm radio (not easy... three dials to tune in a radio station).

  • LEARN how vacuum radio tubes were invented and what they do!


AND... learn about how radio waves make our modern technology work!  Cell phones, GPS, wireless internet routers, Bluetooth speakers, remote car door openers, radar, photos from space... all rely on radio waves!  We'll explain how.





For any inquiries, suggestions or special appointments, please fill out the following form.  tt sends us an email and we generally respond within 24 hours or sooner.

Hours & Admission
Museum Address

315 Elm Building (near 283 Victoria Road)

Asheville - Buncombe Tech Comm. College

Asheville, North Carolina  28804.  For detailed directions, click here.​  Set your GPS to
16 Fernihurst Drive to reach the parking garage.

We are now open on Saturdays from 1 PM to 3 PM.  Beginning August 14 2021, masks are required.

Admission is free to all. Come visit one of Asheville's small great specialty museums!

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Would you enjoy helping us maintain and restore the collection?  Welcome visitors?  Educate STEM student visitors?  Please use the inquiry form to the left.


The museum is in Asheville in Western North Carolina, easily accessed via I-26, I-40, and  Highway 19-23.  It is located in Room 315 of the Elm Building at A-B Technical Community College.  Elm is handicap accessible.


Summary of directions:  If you have a GPS, you set it to 16 Fernihurst Drive, which is the address of the free parking garage around 100 feet from the Elm Building where the museum is located (room 315).  If your GPS does not recognize this address, set it to 283 Victoria Road which will bring you to the corner of Fernihurst Drive.  Turn at the corner (there is only one way to turn), go one block to the building that says Conference Center on the front.  Proceed to the back of this building to enter the parking garage.  Exit the elevator lobby of the garage, walk straight ahead to Elm Building, entering it on the "short" side (straight ahead).  Proceed to the Elm elevator lobby in the middle of the building and go to the 3rd floor.  Look down the hallway to your left and you will see a small sign ahead that says Asheville Radio Museum.


Contact Us
Museum Address

For any inquiries, questions or suggestions, please use this contact form:

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The Asheville Radio Museum is owned and operated by the Southern Appalachian Radio Museum, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation.

The museum is sponsored by QCWA Chapter 145.


Ron Beaver (WB4OQL), President          

Alex Hagerty (W4JHU), Vice-President

Lee Johnson (KB4QDQ), Treasurer  

Stuart Smolkin WA5EYI), Secretary, Curator    



Members at Large:

​Asheville - Buncombe Tech Comm. College

315 Elm Building  (near 283 Victoria Road)

Free parking garage:  16 Fernihurst Drive

Asheville, North Carolina  28801

Group Tours

Ham clubs, student groups, church groups... all are welcome!  Use the contact form (to left) to arrange a convenient time.

Become a Museum Member!

Would you enjoy helping us maintain and restore the collection?  Welcoming visitors?  Educating STEM students?  Please use the contact form on this page.  Or, stop by our monthly meeting at 3 PM on the second Friday of each month (except December and January) in room 315 of the Elm Building (see directions above).

Contribute to the Collection

Do you have something interesting to expand the collection?   If we are able to accept your donation, you can claim it as a tax deduction.  Please use the contact form on this page.

Support the Museum

   Carl Smith (N4AA), Founder (deceased)

   Clint Gorman (K4KRB), Founder                 

   Dean Martin (WA4CNI) (deceased)

   Norman Harrill (N4NH) (deceased)

   Peter Abzug (N3TIP)

   Howard Hazelrigg (W4PH)

   Tim McVey (KR4PP)

   Randy Rago

   Dan Williams (KN4OTD)

We provide free admission, made possible by our small group of volunteers.  It will help tremendously if you can make a small contribution to support our work.  If so, please click the Donate button (below).  Thank you!

Suggestions and Comments

We welcome your suggestions.  Please use the contact form on this page to send us your ideas.