VISITING CHATHAM MARCONI MARITIME CENTER
Plan Your Visit
September 3rd - October 8th
Wednesday - Sunday 1pm - 4pm
October 13th - November 26th
Friday - Sunday 1pm - 4pm
Marconi-RCA Wireless Museum
General Admission Rates:
Adult (19 - 64) $12.00
Senior (65+) $9.00
Student (12-18) $7.00
Child (11 & under) Free
Members & Members' Guests - Free
CAMM Reciprocal Admission - Free
(Member w/CAMM Card +1)
Grades K-12 Teachers - $6.00
Military - Active & Veterans - $6.00
School Field Trips* - $7.00 / Student
Chaperones - Free
Bus Tours/Adult Groups* $9.00 / Adult
Guide Driver - Free
Group Special Opening Fee* - $35.00
*Note: Prior visit arrangements with the
Museum Manager are required
for these rates.
For information call 508-945-8889
Chatham Marconi Maritime Center Directions
Education Center: 831 Orleans Road
Wireless Museum: 847 Orleans Road
North Chatham, MA 02650
We are located on Route 28 (Orleans Road) in the north part of Chatham across the road from Ryder's Cove. Look for the radio tower and brick buildings.
If you are coming from Chatham town center, follow Route 28 toward Orleans and we will be on your left.
If you are coming from Orleans town center, follow Route 28 toward Chatham and we are on your right.
MUSEUM VISIT DETAILS
MARCONI-RCA WIRELESS MUSEUM
INTRODUCTION: In 1914, radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi’s company built a wireless receiving station here paired with a transmitting station in Marion, Massachusetts intended to provide commercial point-to-point radio service between the United States and Norway. Following World War One and with the intervention of the US government, Marconi’s American assets were acquired by the newly formed Radio Corporation of America. By 1921, RCA’s Chatham station with call sign WCC was in full operation, but now for maritime ship-to-shore service. It would soon become the largest US coastal station. The campus of 10 original buildings on 11.3 acres has been preserved by the Town of Chatham as the Marconi-RCA National Register Historic District, and the original Operating Building is now home to our museum.
WHAT YOU WILL SEE: Through informative panels and interactive video displays, you will explore radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi’s life and legacy, the role of maritime radio in world events, ship-to-shore communication with the actual shipboard radio from the hospital ship SS Hope, and artifacts from Chatham Radio WCC’s history. Your first stop will be the new “Golden Age of Trans-Atlantic Ocean Liners” exhibit which tells the unique stories of six famous 20th Century passenger ships through photographs, graphics and video clips. You will get a sense of what it would have been like to be aboard, famous people you might have met, and historical events you could have witnessed. These ships carried dignitaries the rich and famous, ordinary travelers, generations of immigrants and victorious armies. Chatham Radio WCC linked them all to their loved ones and businesses. Experience firsthand how a radio operator touching a Morse code key in Chatham could communicate with counterparts aboard ships sailing the seven seas, and learn about the talented and skilled people who conceived, built and operated Chatham Radio WCC.
From 1942 through 1945, Chatham Radio played a special role in defeating Germany during the World War II Battle of the Atlantic by intercepting Enigma-encrypted wireless messages between the Third Reich’s headquarters and its ships at sea. “Station C”, as it was known then, forwarded these intercepts to Washington, D.C. for decoding. Station C also alerted the Navy’s radio direction-finding network to locate and track enemy vessels. Our Navy Years exhibit features working electronic Enigma cipher machine simulators, inviting you to try your hand at message encryption.
During your visit, take a few minutes to browse the unique items in our Museum Shop.
Before you leave take a walk up the Antenna Field Trail, the museum’s free outdoor gallery. The trail is a winding path through the flora and fauna of Cape Cod with interpretive signs describing the station’s antennas and history. Some of the antennas are scaled replicas of the originals, actively used by amateur radio operators to communicate around the world. The Antenna Field Trail is open year ‘round during daylight hours.