Thursday, January 11, 2007

David Sarnoff Library Open House Offers Tours, Music, and Radio Repairs

PRINCETON: On Saturday, January 20, the Library opens its doors once again with historical, musical, and technical activities. Co-sponsored by the New Jersey Antique Radio Club (NJARC), the open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Sarnoff Corporation’s Auditorium and Lounge and at the David Sarnoff Library, 201 Washington Road, Princeton, NJ.

Dr. Alex Magoun, executive director of the Library, will provide tours of its new exhibits and unique artifacts on David Sarnoff and Six Innovations that Changed the World on the hour at 10 and 11 a.m., and 1, 2, and 3 p.m. “We have remarkable stories here, of the electronics and communications devices we use every day, invented and developed here at the RCA Laboratories,” says Dr. Magoun. “David Sarnoff led those developments in vision, funding, and spirit, because as an immigrant from a dictatorship he understood the value of communications to a free society. As a result we have enjoyed increasingly powerful technologies to educate and entertain ourselves with sight and sound. Introducing your children to earlier formats is a great way of connecting across generations.” A donation of five dollars is suggested.

In response to popular demand, Kip Rosser returns to the Sarnoff stage to play and explain the theremin, at 11 a.m., noon, 2 and 3 p.m. “Everyone says the theremin is incredibly difficult to play,” says Rosser. “Well, so’s the violin. If you have an ear and you practice, you will improve.” Endorsed by Moog Music, the world’s leading maker of the unique electronic musical instrument, Rosser uses his theatrical experiences to blend the fascinating story of the theremin and its Soviet inventor with perfect pitch and jazz and pop from the last sixty years of the 20th century. “Kip is a Renaissance man in more ways than one,” says Dr. Magoun. “An hour with him is an hour of ‘thereminstrelsy.’”

If you have a family heirloom radio from the 1920s to the 1950s, the Radio Club offers a free clinic for evaluation and small repairs. Many vacuum-tube radios can be fixed in less than 60 minutes, and the Club’s experts will do it for free. Call club president Phil Vourtsis (732) 446-2427 or email with the brand and model number to make an appointment on the hour for one-on-one attention.

The David Sarnoff Library is located off 201 Washington Road, Princeton, or at the end of Fisher Place off Route 1 South, just north of the Washington Road traffic circle. For more information call 609-734-2636, or check the website at

This event is made possible in part by an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of the Department of State.