From telegraph and radio to radar and satellites, the National Electronics Museum offers visitors access to the electronic marvels that have helped to shape our country and our world. Located within minutes of Baltimore's BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport and the BWI Rail Station, the museum offers a wide variety of both static and interactive displays, as well as a research library that is open to the general public, with holdings that focus on all aspects of electronics history. Admission is $ 5.00 for adults, $ 3.00 for students, seniors and active duty military. Kids 5 and under are free.
National Electronics Museum
grew out of a Westinghouse Family Day in 1973. Robert Dwight, an employee of
the Westinghouse Defense and Electronics
in Baltimore, Maryland and a key planner of Family Day,
saw the event as an opportunity to display employee products that their
families had previously not had the opportunity to see. Titled “Yesterday,
Today and Tomorrow”, three airborne radar systems, the AERO-13
AN/APQ-50, the AN/APQ-120 and the WX-200 were set out as examples of each era.
Throughout the day, Mr. Dwight made the same observation: employees and their
families were excited and proud to see the finished products of their work.
excitement was shared by Mr. Dwight. He decided to actively pursue more radars
and other electronic equipment to display to fellow colleagues. Enlisting the
help of Jack Sun, a Westinghouse employee, formerly with the United States Air
Force, Mr. Dwight wanted to acquire the radar from a BOMARC missile from the
Department of Defense (DOD). This missile carried the AN/DPN-53, the first
airborne pulse-Doppler radar. The two men quickly ran into a dead end.
According to Department of Defense regulations, they could not obtain the
BOMARC radar unless they were a legally qualified non-profit museum.
Dwight and Mr. Sun approached senior Westinghouse lawyer Luther Gregory for
advice and aid in drawing up the papers necessary to create a legitimate
museum. It was a long period before it was realized. Finally, in 1980 the National Electronics
Museum was incorporated in the State
as a non-profit museum.
provided much needed support in the form of financial aid and storage
facilities. In 1983, a 2,000 square foot space was dedicated to the museum at
Airport Square III, near the present location. In 1986, this space was expanded
to approximately 4,000 square feet. The museum hired its first professional
staff member in 1989 to augment the all-volunteer staff. In 1992 the museum
relocated to its current location at Friendship
support was continued by the Northrop Grumman - Electronic Systems after it
purchased the Westinghouse Defense and Electronics Systems
Center in 1996. Plans for
expanding within the current location were developed in 1998, and in 1999 the
museum was closed for several months while under construction. In September
1999, the doors were opened again to reveal a doubling in size to 22,000 square
feet of indoor space, including a new event and meeting space, new exhibition
gallery, climate controlled storage area, an electronics laboratory, conference
room and a half acre of outdoor exhibit space.
continues to develop with the addition of new permanent outdoor exhibits and
improved landscaping. Indoor gallery spaces are being redesigned and updated.
Educational programming such as the Young Engineers and Scientists Seminars
(YESS) and the Robot Festival are offered on a yearly basis with other events
under consideration. The museum has also established the Robert L. Dwight
Science Scholarship awarded to outstanding engineering students at the University of Maryland College Park and University of
Maryland Baltimore County. Finally, the Museum benefits greatly from the
support of grants and donations from various state agencies, engineering
societies, and individual contributors.
the Board of Directors have included individuals from corporations and
organizations such as the Westinghouse Defense and Electronics Systems
Center, Northrop Grumman
- Electronic Systems, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Carnegie Institute,
American Association of Museums, the University of Maryland Baltimore County,
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Allied Signal, and Hertzbach & Company.
The staff has grown to two full time museum professionals and several part-time
museum staff. The volunteer corps consists of over fifty people who donate
regularly over 5,000 hours a year.
founders envisioned it, the museum is a place for visitors to learn about the
technological achievements and advances by the aforementioned companies and
others like them. It also allows those people who have been involved with the
objects to look back and share their accomplishments with others. The National Electronics Museum
has evolved into an institution that not only appeals to engineers, but to
students and the non-technical public as well. We offer people the opportunity
to see and experience the “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” of the defense