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RCA @ 100

RCA @ 100

On November 20, 1919, the American Marconi officially became the Radio Corporation of America, and on November 17, 2019, we’ll celebrate RCA’s 100-year birthday with a series of events and activities that celebrate the company and the culture of innovation it engendered, and (of course) birthday cake!


Do you have an RCA collection that you’d like to show off during this event? The Sarnoff will have a limited number of tables for people to show off their collections to other RCA fans. Contact the Sarnoff Collection curator at pierrif@tcnj.edu for more information.

Schedule of Events

11:15: Paper circuit birthday card: Make a birthday card for someone you love (or for yourself—no judgment!). Join us for a demonstration of how paper circuits work, and make a light-up greeting card with copper tape and an LED.

12:00: Crystal set construction: Join longtime Sarnoff Collection volunteer Jonathan Allen as he builds a crystal set radio, a simple radio receiver that was popular in the early days of radio, and learn how, using only the power of the received radio signal, a crystal set can produce sound. Be sure to visit our c.1900 crystal set in the museum!

1:00: The TVs of Tomorrow: In the 1950s, RCA was hard at work on developing a television so thin that it could hang on the wall like a picture. Join historian Benjamin Gross as he explains how a group of RCA scientists and engineers developed the first liquid crystal display. Gross’ talk is based on research conducted in the former David Sarnoff Library for his 2018 book, The TVs of Tomorrow: How RCA’s Flat-Screen Dreams Led to the First LCDs.

2:00: Book signing and birthday cake

All Day events:

  • From World-Wide-Wireless to Chipper: RCA Memorabilia from the Sarnoff Collection: View our collection of RCA-themed memorabilia in our pop-up exhibit, and learn about RCA logos through the years.
  • RCA PhotoboothTake some photos in our photobooth with an RCA backdrop and some RCA-themed props.
  • Color Our CollectionsSince 2017, museums and libraries around the world have been sharing coloring sheets based on materials in their collections. We’ve converted a few Sarnoff Collection highlights into coloring sheets so you can make them your own.

Sunday, November 17
11:00-3:00
The Sarnoff Collection
The College of New Jersey
2000 Pennington Road
Ewing, NJ 08618

Innovations that Changed the World: An Introduction to the Sarnoff Collection

Innovations that Changed the World: An Introduction to the Sarnoff Collection

Innovations that Changed the World: An Introduction to the David Sarnoff Collection is a long-term exhibition that explores the state’s pioneering contributions to the electronics industry.  The exhibition traces the history of telecommunications from the invention of radio to the dawn of information age using objects drawn from TCNJ’s David Sarnoff Collection.

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Innovations That Changed the World allows TCNJ students and faculty, visitors, researchers, and local school groups to engage with over eighty artifacts from the Sarnoff Collection, as well as dozens of vintage photographs, letters, and advertisements.

In addition to a biographical display highlighting David Sarnoff’s remarkable rise from impoverished immigrant to industrial innovator, the exhibition is divided into nine sections, each highlighting a different technology developed by RCA—radio, the phonograph, black-and-white television, color television, electron microscopy, computing, integrated circuits, home video, and flat panel displays. Visitors will not only learn about the scientific principles behind these technologies but also the social and historical contexts into which they were introduced.

The exhibition is open to the public free of charge on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 5:00, on Sundays from 1:00 to 3:00, and by appointment for groups and school visits. The exhibition is located on the second floor of Roscoe West Hall. For a map with parking and building locations, please click here. For more information or questions, contact sarnoff@tcnj.edu.

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