In the time of World War II, people sat by their radios to get the latest news, hear entertaining radio shows and listen to music. As television became more popularity and a necessity in many homes, the popularity of the radio shrank.
Curators at the Churchill Museum on Westminster's Campus want to teach children now what children then might have experienced.
To do that, they are holding a two Saturday session for kids to write their own radio show and then a month later, produce it. The first session is this Saturday and begins at 10 a.m.
"We wanted to teach children about communication before television," said Liz Murphy, museum archivist curator. "We hope they get a sense of what it was like by creating a radio show. We want them to really think about the sounds they want to hear and the effects they can create, and of course dialogue."
Murphy said some sound effects will come from places like YouTube, but many of the effects will be things children make with other objects.
"We're going to have paper clips to take on fingernails to sound like dogs walking," she said.
Murphy plans to give the children a history lesson on the first Saturday before they start preparing their script to teach them what it was like for children listening to Fireside Chats with Roosevelt or hearing the War of the Worlds broadcast.
"We're also going to bring out some photos from the archives so they see some of the sights from back then," she said.
Interested families can register the children by sending an e-mail to Liz Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $5 for the children, and that will help pay for the Dec. 11 session where the children will actually record their programs. If it isn't possible to pre-register, Murphy said they will take some walk-ins as long as they have the $5 admission charge.
Right now, approximately 10 students are registered for the program.
"We just really want them to know what life was like without TV," Murphy said. "Everyone is so immersed in visual items these days.
"We just want them to learn to appreciate their ears."