Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5

Early Television Stations


WRNY, licensed to Hugo Gernsback's Experimenter Publishing Co., began broadcasting as a radio station in 1925. The studios were at the Roosevelt Hotel at 45th St. and Madison Ave. in New York City. Gernsback's  partner was Robert W. DeMott Sr. Among the speakers on WRNY's first broadcast day was the "father of radio" Dr. Lee DeForest.

WRNY started a regular schedule of "radio television" broadcasts on August 13, 1928. In cooperation with John Geloso's Pilot Electric Co., Gernsback presented daily 5 minute programs via 48 line mechanical scanners set up at the WRNY transmitter site at Hudson Terrace in Coytesville, since pictures could not be properly synchronized through the Hotel Roosevelt studios. The station's frequency was 919 kHz and used a 48 line/10 fps standard. Later it switched to 1010 kHz and 48 lines/30 fps.

W2XAL was licensed to Gernsback as a shortwave broadcast station in 1925, on 9705 kHz. Starting in 1928 it simulcast the television broadcasts of WRNY.

Among the pioneering TV broadcasts were cooking lessons, physical fitness instruction, concerts and calendars of events.

WRNY broadcast sight and sound alternately rather than simultaneously. Viewers would first see the face of a performer and a few seconds later would hear the voice. The performances took place for 5 minutes every hour and were designed to lure the radio audience into buying "televisor" sets from Pilot.

Gernsback went bankrupt in 1929, and by 1930 the television experimentation had ended.


Hugo Gernsback