The Pavek Museum of Broadcasting reopened its renovated space on August 16, 2017. We have not had an opportunity to check out the updates yet. If you beat us to it, drop us a line and let us know what you liked best.
The Pavek Museum of Broadcasting presents and preserves the history of broadcasting, and offers broadcasting related events and educational programs. It boasts one of the finest collections of antique radio, television, and broadcast equipment in the world. The Museum has gained international recognition for its continuing efforts to preserve and document the history of an industry that has made monumental changes in the fabric of modern life.
Pavek Museum of Broadcasting opened its doors in 1988 on the 50th anniversary of the airing of The War of the Worlds. Growing to over 12,000 square feet of broadcasting history, it started as a simple collection by Joe Pavek. In it's growth, the museum has expanded to include all kinds of broadcast memorabilia from all over the state and country. It's a fascinating experience.
- Joe Pavek began the museum in the basement of the Twin Cities Nut & Bolt in Minneapolis.
- He was a Ham Radio operator and his ham radio call sign is in the museum-- WØOEP ("Old Empty Pockets"). See if you can find it.
- He partnered with Earl Bakken (Bakken Museum) and Paul Hedberg to create the non-profit that is the umbrella over the museum today.
- One year after opening the museum, Joe passed away (in 1989) at age 81.
- Earl Bakken set the course for the museum by creating educational programming. The most popular program is The Broadcast Workshop--where museum-goers get to enjoy running a 1960's radio show and all the intricate pieces.
I spent a morning there with my 4 year old and even he was interested in most of the exhibits. When he had had enough and checked out, they turned on some old children's tv shows. He was enraptured.
- Jack Mullin's personal collection. Jack Mullin was employed by Bing Crosby and to me that was a huge deal. I stared in awe of this collection that lined the hall as you walked into the museum display. Bing Crosby is one of my favorite old time movie stars. I could just imagine him standing next to the beautiful pieces on display singing "White Christmas."
- The boom and camera from NBC in New York.
- One of Boyd Huppert's Emmy's.
- The 1960's Radio Station Broadcast room
- The display of the children's television shows memorabilia. It was fun to show that to my little guy and play I Spy.
You can visit the museum individually or as a group. If you schedule a group to come as a field trip, you can choose to participate in the Broadcast Workshop or the ElectroMagnetism Workshop. Magnets to Megahertz is a new program they are starting this fall.
A friend of mine attended with her homeschool co-op, and they did both the Broadcast and ElectroMagnetism workshops. She stated that got a little long for everyone, so she recommends participating in just one. Every single child from the co-op participated in the workshops. There was a job for everyone at the Radio Station whether it was reading the newsfeed or making the sound effects, etc.
Pavek Museum is a little dark due to the nature of preserving the pieces. Also somethings are better observed in a dimly lit room like sparks and spotlights.
The staff is very genuine and loves their work. When I was shown around, they were all eager to show me the artifacts and helped me to experience their day to day interactions with the public.