This past Friday, April 27th, I had the opportunity to have a conversation and tour of the RCA Heritage Museum with Richard Reindl.
The museum is located on the fifth floor of the Campbell Library at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, and has been growing.
The museum focuses on all things related to RCA history, but mainly during it’s golden days in partnership with the Victor Talking Machine Company.
The museum’s original location on the forth floor of the library grew to be too small of a space, so the museum moved to the fifth floor just last year.
Richard Reindl started working for RCA back in 1973. “My main tasks at the time for RCA, were to help manufacturer radio and transistor parts for army bases overseas during Vietnam” Reindl said.
“My passion and experience about the Victor Talking Machine and all of the older equipment that RCA made back in the day, came after my time working there”. Reindl continued.
“One of the main joys about volunteering at the RCA Heritage Museum, is seeing all of the equipment that people have graciously donated to the museum”. Reindl admits.
“Every once in a while we’ll get in a piece of equipment that all of us are just stumped with, so we have to look up information about it. I always love all the RCA history that we are able to dig up and bring light to” Reindl continues.
“We just recently got an RCA phonograph and radio combination set in from the mid 1940’s, and it has a recording feature on it. It actually has a second arm that can cut grooves. I had never seen something like this before, and my RCA colleague’s and I had a real fun time funding information out about this device. We are still unsure on the type of records that were used to cut with it, but working here at the museum, we are always learning and uncovering RCA history” Reindl concludes.
Another RCA Museum volunteer, Lydia Lavelle, explains some of the donations that they get.
“By far the most donations that we get to the museum are the old 78 rpm records.” Lavelle explains. “We have hundreds of them in our storage room, and we have Rowan students that came in and volunteer to archive all of the music. We have a book documenting every RCA record that we have, which artist released it, and the year it was pressed” she continues.
“We also get Rowan engineers in here to work on some of our old equipment that we get that isn’t working” Lavelle explains.
“It’s always great to see them at work working on whether it be a radio, phonograph, or another piece of equipment” she continues.
“When we are able to get pieces in working condition, it’s always a joy, and one of the biggest reasons why I volunteer here at the museum” Lavelle concludes.
If you would like to visit the RCA Museum and get a tour, you can email Joseph Pane at email@example.com