In the golden age of radio, dramas and plays came to life inside people’s minds instead of unfolding on a screen.
The Nanaimo Museum is shedding light on the role radio had in people’s lives before it was overtaken by the popularity of the television in the exhibit Christmas in the Golden Age of Radio. The exhibit, created by Richard Slingerland, design curator for the museum, features radios from the museum’s collection, including some from Nanaimo Fletcher’s Furniture store. The downtown store was popular in the community for nearly 100 years.
The golden age of radio was between 1920 and 1950. The exhibit features a recreation of a typical family living room during the 1930s. It includes historical information about Nanaimo during that time period and popular music of those decades.
“The importance of the radio in families was the same way people gather around the television today,” said Aimee Greenaway, interpretation curator for the museum. “It’s a nice exhibit for families to visit … it appeals to many different generations.”
People can also learn about buildings that were being constructed during that time, such as the Pygmy Pavillion and the Malaspina Hotel.
Christmas in the Golden Age of Radio runs until Jan. 4. During December, the museum is accepting cash donations to the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive as admission.
The Nanaimo Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the holiday season, the museum is closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.