The former Indiana Historic Radio Museum in Ligonier Indiana
A radio from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.
In a cute little remodeled filling station at the corner of Calvin and Union Streets, near downtown Ligonier, was Indiana’s best kept mystery, the Historic Radio Museum. It was a barrel of fun and a goldmine of history. Sadly, Fritz Schultz, the owner, passed away in late 2008, and the collection had to be sold. Here is a bit of what you would have seen had you been able to go there.
Then see Novelty Radios and Accessories on page 2
I’m Sandra, N9PXK; my husband Bill Weinhardt is W9PPG. We made a pilgrimage to the Indiana Historic Radio Museum in Ligonier in July of 1999. This page is made to share that experience,
This is just too, too darling! It’s the brightest radio in the museum!
Most of the radios have a card telling about them. A lot of the cards have a line to tell something historical that happened in the year the radio was made.
This radio in a table reminded me of a sewing machine, a harpsichord and a library table. What a clever idea! Some radios were powered by bulky batteries, and those models needed battery housing. The plainer ones just sat about in pieces.
As a bride, I heard my husband talking about breadboarding. I thought it was a home-made surfboard. But no, it’s building a radio on a board. This breadboard is a particularly elegant assemblage. My first gift from my husband was needlenose pliers to help me dis-assemble his surplus electronic gear.
One of the most exciting groupings in the museum, to me, was a litter of three Crosley pups. My husband inherited a Pup from his Elmer, Glen Rogers W9ASX. An Elmer is the patient ham (licensed amateur radio operator) who teaches a beginner the code, gear and rules. Glen always made time for Bill, and Glen always supported the Indiana Historic Radio Association wholeheartedly.
Grandfather clocks? I think not. Not a clock radio, but a radio in a clock. Can you think of any other appliance that came in so many amusing presentations??
Sally Rand’s fan moves when this World’s Fair souvenir radio is turned on. And here’s a more sedate one:
If you are into puzzles, you can try to place these radios and speakers into their historical decade. Art Deco, hmmmm?
You are encouraged to bookmark this page.
< See Novelty Radios and Accessories on page 2
Other things to do around Ligonier
Another side trip from Bluffton, Indiana, could be a drive to Ligonier, Indiana, on State Road 5 south of Shipshewana, and near Rome City. Before you leave Ligonier, or when you first arrive, you can dine at a country store at Fashion Farm on Lincolnway West on the edge of Ligonier. You will have a full day of fun.
Other Ligonier attractions include Jennie Thompson Gardens on West Union Street (May through December), Oak Park Cemetery, the Ligonier Historical Museum, Simon Meier Manor tours, the Ink Spot factory and of course, the topic of this story, the Indiana Historic Radio Museum and more. Call (219) 894-9000 or 1-888-417-3562 or visit the Chamber of Commerce page for Ligonier or the Noble County page on Ligonier.
After you see Ligonier you can drive on over to Gene Stratton-Porter’s second cabin on Sylvan Lake, an Indiana State Historic Site. If you feel more like shopping, Pam Ash’s store, Walnut Acres, offers terrific furniture and decorating services on the Courthouse Square in Columbia City.
- See Novelty Radios and Accessories on page 2 of this site.
- See Fred Prohl’s site for the Indiana Historical Radio Society at http://home.att.net/~indianahistoricalradio/
- You can wander in the index of the Bluffton and Nostalgia pages
- You can read the cover of the magazine and pick some other topic.
- Other Bluffton side trips include James Dean’s Fairmount, Indiana and
- the Gene Stratton-Porter Limberlost Swamp and Cabin State Historic Site in Geneva, Indiana.
- Did you read W9PPG Bill Weinhardt’s Morse Code columns and other radio columns?
- Did you read about who diagnosed Bill’s prostate cancer in December of 1997?
- Bill’s late father, John Weinhardt, formerly WA9IAL, has some fascinating pages on-line too.