History of the BBC

History of the BBC

Visit a BBC exhibition

Here are just a few places around the UK where you can see more of the BBC Collection.


National collections:


The Exponential Horn

Exponential Horn


BBC History has collaborated with the Science Museum on its wonderful Exponential Horn display and events programme.


Listen to archive and current BBC sounds via the biggest loudspeaker horn in the UK, from 20 May to 27 July 2014.



Science Museum (London)

2LO at the Science MuseumThe Voice of the BBC looks back to the BBC’s first broadcast on 14 November 1922: a moment when radio listening changed from a specialist hobby to a national pastime. At its heart is part of the BBC’s first transmitter, the iconic ‘2LO’ transmitter. Before each show the presenter would announce, ‘This is 2LO, London calling!’


Though this transmitter was replaced in 1925 it continues to symbolise the excitement and creativity of the early days of broadcasting. (Nov 2012-May 2013)


National Media Museum

The National Media Museum also celebrates the 90th anniversary of BBC with a display of seminal radio artefacts, including one of the original Big Ben microphones used to capture the sounds of the bell in 1924; a ‘Lip microphone’ dating from 1937, specially designed by the BBC to block background noise from sports commentary in the 1930s; and a famous ‘biscuit tin’ radio, dropped by parachute over occupied Europe during World War II. This display is a small part of almost 1,000 unique and rare objects, which have been donated by the BBC to the Museum so they can be curated and exhibited for the nation.


Experience TV
Experience TV
Baird Televisor
The Baird Televisor
TV Heaven
TV Heaven

Museum of Childhood (London)

Don’t miss the latest exhibition here, exploring Modern British Childhood from 1948 to 2012 (the period between the two London Olympic Games). Featuring seminal objects – including a BBC Blue Peter badge and some of the Teletubbie puppets, along with NHS prescription glasses, an 11+ exam paper and a chopper bike, to name but three! – this insightful exhibition dramatises the huge changes that have occurred in children’s lives during this period (Oct 2012-Apr2013).


Other collections:



Droitwich Heritage Centre

Droitwich Heritage Centre

In 1934, a new transmitting station was created at Wychold, Droitwich Spa. Radiating the National Programme (as it was then called) on long wave, the transmitter was the tallest and most powerful of its time in the UK. Visit the Droitwich Heritage Centre for an insight into the early days of transmission history, including the original control desk.



We will be featuring different local collections on this website every couple of months. If your museum collection includes any items of BBC History and you would like to be profiled on this site, please contact us at bbchistoryenquires@bbc.co.uk.


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