Early Television Museum – Hilliard, Ohio - Atlas Obscura

Hilliard, Ohio

Early Television Museum

A retro walk through the history of the tube. 

Steve McVoy was always fascinated by TV. In middle school, he worked at a TV repair shop, and as an adult spent 30 years running a cable TV business. In 1999, after selling his business, McVoy started collecting vintage television sets, and before long amassed a collection so large he began to run out of room for them all.

Thus the Early Television Museum was born, now home to about 200 tube TVs from 1928 through 1962. There are mechanical TVs from the 1920s and ’30s, pre-war British and American sets from the late ’30s and early ’40s,  post-war sets from 1945 to 1958, and early color TVs from the 1950s.

The antique machines are mostly in working condition, including the black-and-white pre-war TVs, which visitors can turn on and view by pushing a wall-mounted button. The TVs showcase original programming from the time when the reciever was top-of-the-line technology.

The collection is now housed in a 6,000-square-foot space about 20 minutes from downtown Columbus. The museum also hosts an annual Early TV Convention.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open Saturdays from 10-6 and Sundays from 12-5.