Marconi-RCA Wireless Museum Open Tuesday-Sunday Afternoons
Welcome to Chatham on Cape Cod! When you make your museum visit reservation you will be invited to watch our introductory video "Chatham Radio WCC: The Untold Story", narrated by Walter Cronkite, before you visit. Along with reviewing our website ChathamMarconi.org, "The Untold Story" will help you to better appreciate our exhibits in the time you will have available to explore them. Or, if you are stopping in on short notice, please call us at 508-945-8889 to ensure that we have the space to accommodate you.
Your tour starts in the Wireless History Gallery with Guglielmo Marconi's life and legacy. Then explore the era of Chatham Radio, when Radio Corporation of America's dominant 20th Century Ship-to-Shore station was the "largest US coastal station in the marine service". Learn of the station's WWII years as the US Navy's secret "Station C" which intercepted Enigma-encrypted U-Boat messages. Working Enigma cipher machine simulators allow you to try your own hand at encryption. This year, we proudly celebrate the second of three consecutive centennial events, each historically important to both Chatham and America: Following World War I, the newly-formed Radio Corporation of America (RCA) acquired the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America, including its unfinished installations at Chatham and Marion, Massachusetts. RCA installed state-of-the-art equipment manufactured by U.S. industrial giant General Electric to create Chatham Port wireless station WSO. On May 17, 1920, RCA inaugurated service between Chatham Port and Norway, finally realizing Marconi?s dream of sustainable trans-Atlantic communication. Come explore our newest exhibit, "Chatham on the Air."
After an hour and a quarter (1:15), you will move to the Wireless Today Gallery which chronicles the digital revolution shaping our lives today when wireless is everywhere. Learn to how ships at sea off Cape Cod are located in real time and how Great White sharks are tracked. Peer inside a smart phone, count the many wireless devices that surround you, or operate a drone flight simulator. The museum features "Radio to the Rescue" this season. Radio communication ended the isolation of mariners at sea. The valuable lessons learned from early - and even more recent - sea rescues are explored in new exhibits. Learn how radio and satellite technologies keep people safe today, and help save countless lives by aiding the Coast Guard in maritime rescues.
After your approximately two hour museum visit is over, or at any other time during daylight hours, walk the Antenna Field Trail. The trail is a winding path through the flora and fauna of Cape Cod with interpretive signs identifying and describing the station?s various radio antennas.
Date and Time
Friday Oct 16, 2020 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EDT
Afternoons, Tuesday through Sunday: Visitors planning ahead may either reserve the entire museum for family and friends for a two-hour visit, or reserve individual spaces in a small group tour. Visit times available are 1:00 and 2:30 PM.
Exclusive Access Mornings, Tuesday through Saturday: Visitors have the option of reserving the entire museum for family and friends for a two-hour visit beginning at 10:30 AM. Please make your Exclusive Access reservation at least 1 full day in advance so that we may properly staff to accommodate your visit. (Sorry, not available on Sunday.)
If you are visiting without a reservation, please call us at 508-945-8889 to ensure that we can accommodate you.
847 Orleans Road, North Chatham, MA 02650. Along Route 28 opposite Ryder's Cove. Look for the metal lattice tower and the red brick buildings.
This Fall, advance reservations are preferred for museum visits in order to conform to state and local COVID-19 operating restrictions, including occupancy limits and guidelines for contact tracing. Walk-in visits are OK whenever we have the space available. For more information, fees, and to reserve space see our website's Plan Your Visit page: https://www.chathammarconi.org/planyourvisit .