The Museum of Radio and TV’s adventurous journey from the hobby of two colleagues to its opening

MúzeumCafé 25.

The story began long ago when in 1942 the noted Gyula Ortutay proposed the establishment of a Radio Museum. Ortutay, director Miklós Kozma and an employee of Hungarian Radio – believed that the recordings, documents and equipment should be preserved for posterity. However, the war upset the plans and during the siege the historical archive was destroyed. For decades the idea of a radio museum remained a pipedream, though meanwhile Hungarian Television began broadcasting. Establishing a joint museum required the persistence of two people – István Salamon at the radio and at the television János Koreny, the father of the collection. Duna TV, established in the 1990s, is represented in the exhibition with its awards. MTI recalls the early years of telecommunications with its period telegraph machines, Morse signallers and telex machines. On display is an interesting article, ‘Clairvoyance in England’, published in a 1936 issue of Rádióélet (Radio Life). The shrewd Hungarian reporter is taking stock of the first steps of television. At that time in Hungary there was an interior ministry decree banning such experiments – it was seen as potentially dangerous in terms of anti-state propaganda. Of course, policy makers everywhere soon acknowledged the hidden power of electronic communication and the Museum of Radio and TV chronicles this process. István Salamon, currently its de facto director, is proud that it has been possible to find a lasting solution for realising the dream. In spite of the difficulties and short time during which the museum was set up, Janos Koreny is satisfied with the results: “The essential thing is that what I collected as part of my life’s work is now being exhibited, presumably for a long time. All the efforts are coming to fruition.”.