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Television Sets

The first television sets were radios with a television device added. Commercially available in the late '20s, these television devices consisted of a neon tube behind a mechanically spinning disk with a spiral of apertures. This device produced a picture the size of a postage stamp. The picture was enlarged by a magnifying glass, but was still very small. The Baird Televisor, manufactured in England from 1930 to 1933, is considered to be the first mass-produced television.

Television became more practical when cathode ray tubes began to be used to generate pictures in 1934. Only a small number of televisions were manufactured and sold prior to World War II due to their cost, and production was frozen during World War II. After the war, when production costs decreased and post-war consumers found themselves with disposable income, television became immensely popular. About 90 percent of households in the United States owned a television set by 1962.

Today the vintage television set with tube screens and furniture quality cases have been replaced by flat screens and micro technology. Collectors of television sets form a small, interconnected community and information about collecting is readily available. Most collectors prefer to collect vintage television sets that date from 1939 to 1949.


Quick Facts

  • The early television manufacturers were radio manufacturers who branched off into television. The largest manufacturer of early television sets in the United States was RCA
  • An original Baird Televisor in excellent condition can sell for as much as $20,000. Early pre-war black and white television sets fetch the highest prices at auction, as well as prototype color television sets from the mid '50s
  • Black and white television sets manufactured after 1960 and color television sets manufactured after 1965 are worth little on the collector's market

Recommended Items at Auction

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55" LG OLED TV NEW IN THE BOX
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55" LG OLED TV NEW IN THE BOX
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65" SAMSUNG QLED TV
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Hi Sense flat screen TV
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Hi Sense flat screen TV
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LG 32 Inch Television
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58 inch Samsung Roku Roku TV flatscreen TV
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Vizio tv
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Vizio tv
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Vintage Zenith Television Console
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Vintage Zenith Television Console
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Est: $0- $0
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VINTAGE RCA CONSOLE TELEVISION
May 31, 10:00 AM CDT
VINTAGE RCA CONSOLE TELEVISION
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Est: $50- $100
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RICHARD SAPPER; MARCO ZANUSO, TWO TELEVISION SETS 'BLACK ST201', 1969, AND 'CUBE 15', 1992
Jun 12, 3:00 PM CEST
RICHARD SAPPER; MARCO ZANUSO, TWO TELEVISION SETS 'BLACK ST201', 1969, AND 'CUBE 15', 1992
by Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH
Est: €800- €900
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ETTORE SOTTSASS, TELEVISION 'MEMPHIS 1 TVC 26', 1980
Jun 12, 3:00 PM CEST
ETTORE SOTTSASS, TELEVISION 'MEMPHIS 1 TVC 26', 1980
by Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH
Est: €4,500- €5,000
€4,0000 Bids
Westinghouse 40in Lcd Hdtv W/ Remote
Jun 01, 10:00 AM MST
Westinghouse 40in Lcd Hdtv W/ Remote
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Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
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Portable TV
Jun 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Portable TV
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Est: $20- $40
$50 Bids
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Vintage Admiral Portable TV
Jun 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Vintage Admiral Portable TV
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Samsung 32in 720p Lcd Hdtv W/ Remote
Jun 01, 10:00 AM MST
Samsung 32in 720p Lcd Hdtv W/ Remote
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Samsung 32in 720p Lcd Hdtv W/ Remote
Jun 01, 10:00 AM MST
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Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Samsung 43in Qled 4k Smart Hdtv W/ Remote
Jun 01, 10:00 AM MST
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ZANUSO & SAPPER BRIONVEGA BLACK ST201 TELEVISION
May 28, 11:00 AM EDT
ZANUSO & SAPPER BRIONVEGA BLACK ST201 TELEVISION
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Samsung 37" Flatscreen TV
May 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Samsung 37" Flatscreen TV
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Two Samsung TVs
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Two Samsung TVs
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SPACE AGE JVC VIDEOSPHERE TELEVISION
Jun 04, 11:00 AM EDT
SPACE AGE JVC VIDEOSPHERE TELEVISION
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$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Television Sets


EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

Barry S. Slosberg Inc

Barry S. Slosberg Inc

Nye & Company

Nye & Company

Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH

Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH