Eastern State Penitentiary Replaces Antique Radio in Capone’s Cell After Teen Visitor Spots Anachronism

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On a recent class trip to Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, 13-year-old antiques expert Joey Warchal noticed something the average middle school student would not have.  The seventh grader from St. Christopher School in Philadelphia saw the radio in Al Capone's Cell at Eastern State was inaccurate for the time period Capone was incarcerated.  In 1929, Al Capone was a prisoner at Eastern State Penitentiary, where he spent eight months in relative comfort on the prison’s “Park Avenue.” His cell had oriental rugs, fine furniture, and a cabinet radio. (Photos from the day below).

After the trip Joey emailed the historic site and offered his help in finding a replacement radio model that is more historically accurate.  Joey is an expert in things like antique radios, coins and records and was quite confident he knew where to look, so the staff took him up on his offer.

A few weeks later Joey found the radio and  Sean Kelley, Senior Vice President, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site and staff threw Joey and his family an appreciation ceremony followed by a ceremonial radio swap and a sparkling cider toast.  They also gave Joey the radio that had been on display in the cell to add to his collection.

Great job, Joey.  Great job Eastern State Pen!

By: Tony Romeo / PHL17
Got a great idea for a web story? Tweet me @tonyromeo or send me an email.  As always, thanks for the tip!