RCA-Victor Tube Radio

New technology harnessed the airwaves and brought communities closer together.


Written by Annick Desmarais

Posted February 6, 2023

During the Second World War the radio company RCA Montreal, like other Canadian manufacturers, was mobilized to produce military equipment for the war effort. This M-45A radio is the first civilian model manufactured by the company after the war’s end. It testifies to the period before television, when for decades radio played a crucial role in promoting and disseminating francophone culture.

Radio overcame the isolation of distant communities and contributed to the modernization of French-Canadian society, with Quebec’s first station, CKAC, hitting the airwaves in 1922 and Radio Canada following suit in 1936. Families would gather around to listen to Quebecois radio dramas, follow the Montreal Canadians’ hockey games, hear political speeches, and dance along to live music broadcasts.  

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This object resides at the Musée des ondes Emile Berliner.

This article originally appeared in Cinquante Merveilles de nos musées: les plus beaux trésors de la Francophonie Canadienne. The special interest publication was part of Projet Portage, a five-year initiative to connect history lovers in French and English Canada, generously supported by the Molson Foundation.

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