(6 Total References)
1905 Monroe Street
Madison, WI 53711-2026
Phone: (608) 251-6121
Fax: (608) 252-8428
Dealer Locator > Retail Stores > Wisconsin
1905 Monroe St.,
Madison, WI 53711
Dealer Locator > Retail Stores > Wisconsin
Steve Puntillo 1905 Monroe St., Madison, WI 53711 608-251-6121
Steve Puntillo, an ...
Steve Puntillo, an inveterate collector of technological artifacts associated with radio and the recording industry thinks we are.And he's willing to share his extensive collection with Fitchburg if the city will help him find a home for it.He
thinks the WIBA studio at 2651 South Fish Hatchery Road could be just the place.Mind you, it's very early in the planning process , the studio is still in use by Clear Channel Communications
, but he's
hoping the idea takes root.Puntillo is owner of Paragon Video & Stereo, 1905 Monroe St., Madison, and has been collecting the early technology associated with communications for more than 50 years.He's
amassed about 6,000 items, including some that can trace their origins to giants of the industry, including Thomas Edison, NikolaTesla and Guglielmo Marconi.Puntillo
thinks the public gains by cultivating an appreciation for the painstaking technological advances that led to the digital age.These weren't intuitive breakthroughs but the result of enormous intelligence, innovation, and "blood, sweat and tears," he
And the opportunity to work with the mechanical forebears of today's technology resonates with those who grew up with the innovations and younger generations who know nothing whatsoever about what transpired previously.Puntillo
recounts a man who visited his
store with his
young grandson.The grandson had no interest in the collection until Puntillo
showed him how sound resonated through a fingernail on a 78 r.p.m. recording on a Victrola.The experience precipitated the child's lengthy interest in analog recording, Puntillo
Today's computer screens offer no physical contact with technology and no hint of the incremental gains made over the last 140 years, he
doesn't expect such a museum to attract 65,000 fans a day like a Badger football game."Thank God it doesn't," he
"A lot of the stuff that's so cool is not really that valuable," such as windup mechanical phonographs and crystal radios, he
Several of the items were once in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum
and the Smithsonian
acquired them "before prices went through the roof," he
estimates that his
collection is worth $600,000 to $1 million and would occupy 9,000 to 12,000 square feet of shelf space.
The collection is now stored at his
business and in five garages.Creating a museum would encourage donations from other collectors, he
said, including a 1950s vintage radio studio that has been restored by a Milwaukee resident.
The old WIBA studio could be part of Fitchburg's cultural center and could perhaps also house the collection of the Fitchburg Historical Society
It would be located southwest of the site for the proposed library.
would approach Clear Channel
proposal if there appears to be enough interest.
Several years ago, he
found a financial backer for his
proposal but the man died suddenly before he
codified the agreement in his
With the right equipment, many audiophiles believe analog recordings "blow the doors off anything done digitally," Puntillo
Puntillo's one request is that he
be allowed to tinker with his
collection whenever he
said there's no point in having amassed such a collection.
Paragon Video & Stereo - Private Museum
Steve Puntillo, owner of Paragon Video & Stereo at 1905 Monroe St., has been collecting early technology since he was 5, when his great-grandfather told him to leave a wind-up Victrola record player alone, saying, "talking furniture -- disgusting."Now he's got more than 6,000 examples of antique technology squirreled away in the back of his store and in three garages.Looking toward retirement in a few years, he wants to put it all in a museum where it can be viewed and appreciated by the public."I'd like to have a museum where young people can come in and experience how early scientific devices operate and work," said Puntillo, 61."Most people don't know where it all starts -- how television works, how radio and phonographs work," he said."But if you show them that gadget, it's like an anchor -- they know where all this technology started."Puntillo said he's made a good living running his store, which specializes in building home theaters, but he can't afford to buy a building for his museum.He said a nonprofit museum would require about 12,000 square feet and should be Downtown, where there are other museums, or on Monroe Street.Puntillo said he's hoping for help from "somebody who's got the money and wants to leave his mark on society.I can do the equipment, but I can't do the money part.All of us have an obligation in some way to pass our knowledge to the next generation."He added, "I think you probably need between $600,000 and $1.5 million for a building in a good location."
"It was made at exactly the same time Marconi
was making his
radio receiver sold at auction in 1996 for about $50,000.Puntillo
estimates the Kohl receiver would bring $25,000.Stored in its own oak box, it has four batteries, two power switches, a glass tube and three objects that look like spools of thread but are electromagnetic coils, he
explained.Near it is a small, black box with dials, battery terminals and two tuning knobs.It's a radio transmitter from a plane that aviator Charles Lindbergh used while he
was a student in Madison, Puntillo
said.The museum also would house the collection of Scott Malawski, an employee of Puntillo's
who collects early phonographs.