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AES Exhibit Remembers New York’s “Radio Row”

Manno and Kramer will note the centennial

Radio history buffs, be sure to swing by Booth 635 at the AES Show this week in New York.

Louis Manno, founder of the Audio History Library & Museum, and loudspeaker colleague Michael Kramer will salute the establishment of “Radio Row” in New York 100 years ago. It was a neighborhood and commercial district that existed for about five decades in the footprint of what later became the World Trade Center.

“On Manhattan’s lower West Side, Cortlandt Street was the center of the 300+ street level shops (and an equal number of lofts above) that would supply parts to radio amateurs assembling their wireless sets, to supplying the innumerable manufacturers in the Tri-State area, and beyond,” the organization said in a press release.

A common scene from the Cortlandt Street neighborhood of the time.

“Radio Row developed as the focal point for the marketing and distribution of consumer electronics in the United States. By the 1950s over 10% of the radios, TVs and Hi-Fi systems made or marketed in the U.S. passed through Radio Row. From its electronics shops to the nearby luncheonettes, barbers and other shops, Radio Row was an economic tour-de-force that supported at least 30,000 workers, an economic impact of a city within a city.”

Tubes galore.

The Audio History Library & Museum will display a group of historical radios from that era at its booth. The convention floor has hours on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile you can learn more about Radio Row on the website of the New York Preservation Archive Project.

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