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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Today the vintage television set with tube screens and furniture quality cases have been replaced by flat screens and micro technology.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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Visio 31" Flat Screen TV w/Remote
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CDT
Visio 31" Flat Screen TV w/Remote
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$509 Bids
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SAMSUNG AA550 SOUNDBAR
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
SAMSUNG AA550 SOUNDBAR
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$54 Bids
Samsung 50in 1080p Led 120hz Smart Hdtv
Oct 23, 10:00 AM MST
Samsung 50in 1080p Led 120hz Smart Hdtv
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$302 Bids
LG flatscreen wallmount TV
Oct 23, 3:00 PM EDT
LG flatscreen wallmount TV
by Bob Stutler's Auction
Est: $0- $0
$201 Bid
Sony Watchman FD-210 Flat B&W battery operated
Oct 31, 11:00 AM EDT
Sony Watchman FD-210 Flat B&W battery operated
by Moggies Auction Service
Est: $25- $45
$201 Bid
Flat Screen TV Credenza
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CDT
Flat Screen TV Credenza
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
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SONY WEGA 54 INCH TV
Oct 25, 12:00 PM EDT
SONY WEGA 54 INCH TV
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
Vizio Model E321VL HDTV
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vizio Model E321VL HDTV
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$51 Bid
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Rogers HD Cable Television Boxes
Oct 24, 11:30 AM EDT
Rogers HD Cable Television Boxes
by Oakwood Auctions
Est: $25- $30
$150 Bids
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Panasonic Viera 41 1/2" TV
Oct 24, 11:30 AM EDT
Panasonic Viera 41 1/2" TV
by Oakwood Auctions
Est: $45- $55
$300 Bids
Sony Wall mount TV
Oct 23, 3:00 PM EDT
Sony Wall mount TV
by Bob Stutler's Auction
Est: $0- $0
$200 Bids
Samsung Soundbar & 300 Watt Subwoofer
Oct 24, 2:00 PM EDT
Samsung Soundbar & 300 Watt Subwoofer
by Pace & Hong Auctions, LLC
Est: $0- $0
$120 Bids
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MINI MCM TV, ROVER ULTIMATE
Oct 21, 9:30 AM AEST
MINI MCM TV, ROVER ULTIMATE
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD80- AUD150
AUD800 Bids
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PHILLIPS 32 INCH FLAT SCREEN
Oct 25, 12:00 PM EDT
PHILLIPS 32 INCH FLAT SCREEN
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$10 Bids
Sharp Aquos 32in 1080p Lcd Tv
Oct 23, 10:00 AM MST
Sharp Aquos 32in 1080p Lcd Tv
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Lilanga George - Tribù
Nov 06, 2:30 PM CET
Lilanga George - Tribù
by Aste Brina
Est: €120- €160
€700 Bids
Dadamaino - Senza titolo
Nov 06, 10:30 AM CET
Dadamaino - Senza titolo
by Aste Brina
Est: €400- €500
€2000 Bids
Large Samsung flat screen TV
Oct 22, 11:30 PM EDT
Large Samsung flat screen TV
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $125- $150
$500 Bids
Dell flat screen monitor
Oct 22, 11:30 PM EDT
Dell flat screen monitor
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $50- $60
$250 Bids
RCA flat screen TV
Oct 22, 11:30 PM EDT
RCA flat screen TV
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $65- $75
$250 Bids
22 inch Curtis flat screen TV
Oct 23, 11:30 PM EDT
22 inch Curtis flat screen TV
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $50- $75
$250 Bids
Sony Micro TV Model 4-203 UW
Oct 23, 12:00 PM EDT
Sony Micro TV Model 4-203 UW
by Lettieri Auction & Appraisal
Est: $80- $100
$400 Bids
Panasonic 95cm LCD TV with Remote. 91.5 x 62cmh (Does not Include TV Stand)
Oct 23, 10:00 AM AEDT
Panasonic 95cm LCD TV with Remote. 91.5 x 62cmh (Does not Include TV Stand)
by Treasure Island Auctions
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD500 Bids
106cm Vivo High Definition Plasma Television with 2 x HDMI & USB with Remote *Working* 105 x 74cm
Oct 23, 10:00 AM AEDT
106cm Vivo High Definition Plasma Television with 2 x HDMI & USB with Remote *Working* 105 x 74cm
by Treasure Island Auctions
Est: AUD75- AUD150
AUD750 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Television Sets


Potomack Company

Potomack Company

Aether Auctions

Aether Auctions

McCurley Auction Company

McCurley Auction Company