Celebrate 100 years of technology at TCNJ’s RCA museum

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It was 100 years ago this week that the Marconi Wireless Company of America officially became the Radio Corporation of America, or RCA.

To celebrate the milestone, News 12’s Brian Donohue visited the RCA Museum on the campus of the College of New Jersey. The museum is named after longtime RCA chairman David Sarnoff.

The Sarnoff Collection is home to thousands of pieces of retro technology. There is a 1972 personal computer, a 1920s phonograph and a 1980s camcorder.

“Anyone who grew up in the '70s was at birthday parties with the dad holding on these [camcorders] on his shoulder,” says Donohue.

The museum tells the story of RCA’s long history in the Garden State. It was an era when the closest thing to today’s Silicon Valley may have been Central Jersey.

“In its heyday, they developed a lot of the things that we take for granted in our electronics-saturated life today,” says Sarnoff Collection curator Florencia Pierri.

RCA's presence in New Jersey was quite large, with a factory in Camden and research facilities and laboratories in West Windsor. The LCDs in today’s televisions were first developed there.

RCA also developed inventions that changed the world, like electron microscopes and color television. RCA cameras were sent to the moon.

The Sarnoff Collection is hosting a series of events and activities Sunday from 1-3 p.m. including radio building exercises for kids, lectures, exhibits and a birthday cake. It will be on the campus of the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township.

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