Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5

Early Electronic Television

Golden Gate Exposition, San Francisco, 1939-40

The Golden Gate International Exposition (1939 and 1940) was held at San Francisco, California to celebrate two newly-built bridges. The San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge was dedicated in 1936 and the Golden Gate Bridge was dedicated in 1937. The exposition was opened initially from February 18, 1939 through October 29, 1939. It opened again from May 25, 1940 through September 29, 1940.

The Exposition was held on Treasure Island, a completely flat, artificial island attached to Yerba Buena Island, near where the Oakland span and the San Francisco span of the Bay Bridge join. Built by the federal government, Treasure Island was to be an airport for Pan American Airline's Pacific Rim service of flying boats, of which the China Clipper is an example. Due to wartime needs, it was soon turned into a naval base, which was occupied by the US Navy from 1941 to 1997.


Both RCA and Westinghouse, and perhaps other companies, demonstrated television at the exposition.



Sunset Magazine, June 1939

Courtesy of Wayne Bretl


Broadcasting, September 15, 1938

Broadcasting, January 15 1939

Broadcasting, March 1 1939

John Vassos sketch

Courtesy of Steve Dichter

Coin from the Exposition

Courtesy of Steve Dichter