Step Back in Time at the Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting
This building played a significant role in United States history
Located in West Chester, Ohio the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting is housed in the historic Bethany Relay Station— this building played a significant role in the United States history during World War II and the Cold War.
The reason why the Voice of America Bethany Relay Station was constructed in West Chester is because of radio pioneer and engineer, Powel Crosley Jr. Born in Cincinnati, Powel Crosley Jr. was an American inventor, industrialist, and entrepreneur.
Powel and his brother were responsible for many firsts in consumer products and broadcasting. During World War II, Crosley's facilities produced more proximity fuzes than any other U.S. manufacturer and several production design innovations.
When President Roosevelt began to plan for high power radio stations to reach all parts of the world with information about the United States, he turned to Crosley and his team of engineers to make it happen. Crosley had already constructed and operated WLW at 500,000 watts, making it the most powerful in the world.
The engineering team was up to the task and built six 250,000-watt transmitters and 27 antenna arrays capable of reaching millions of listeners in Europe, North and South Africa and South America.
The Bethany Relay Station
Built in 1944 with Art Deco architecture, the Bethany Relay Station was developed to provide 'fallback' transmission facilities inland and away from the East Coast which was subject to attack from German submarines or other invading forces.
The Office of War Information began broadcasting in July 1944 and Adolf Hitler is said to have denounced the "Cincinnati liars." The station operated until 1994.
Radio Broadcast Transmitters
The station boasted six of the most powerful radio transmitters on earth. The vintage Crosley-built behemoths are long gone, but you can still view one of the 1960s Collins Radio transmitters during your tour.
You can still see the Antenna Switching Matrix at the rear of the museum building. These switches allowed the various antenna arrays to target broadcast to specific areas around the world.
Take a walk through history at the Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting and learn more about how this historical landmark played a significant role in United States history.
8070 Tylersville Road | West Chester, Ohio
Open for tours on Saturday & Sunday | Noon to 4pm