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Vintage

Characteristics

        Value

1920s and 1930s Mechanical Mechanical TVs were basically short-wave radios with a neon light and scanning disc connected. Mostly wooden table tops were produced, but some consoles were sold, and many kits and home-brew sets were assembled. Need not work or be complete to be of considerable value!
Most sets $2,500 to $5,000 and up!
1930s Electronic Pre-war 5" and 9" table tops and direct-vision consoles were produced and sold, plus there were 12" consoles (mirror-in-the-lid style). Some sets featured screens up to 20", and there were several 5" kits produced. Most of the production sets were sold in 1938, 1939 and 1940 (several were displayed at the 1939 NY World's Fair).

Most of these TVs have long, funnel shaped picture tubes. Most have only    1 channel, 3 channels, or 5 channels on their dial (although some were modified after WWII and they might have all 13 channels on the tuner).

Need not work or be complete to be of considerable value!
Complete sets $3,000 to over $10,000. 
Kits $1,500 to $3,500 and up.

Pre-war CRTs and Pre-war TV parts are of value; 
1920s and 1930s TV books and original instruction booklets, flyers, and dealer hand-outs, are of value.

1946-1949 In 1946 and 1947 most B&W TVs were sold with round 10" and 12" CRTs standard; plus cheaper sets were produced with 7" and even 3" tubes (Pilot TV-37); DuMont produced TVs with up to 20" CRTs. (Some 1946 through 1949 sets had tuners with channels 1-13). By the late 1940s, RCA and other makers had round 19" or larger picture tubes. 

Cabinets were mostly made of wood or bakelite; some with very strange or elaborate cases. Table tops, consoles, and 'Combos' combinations with TV, radio and phono, were sold.

Working or not, most 1940s B&W TVs have a similar value:
Common 7", 10" and 12" Table top sets about $50-$100 and up;
Unusual or very collectible sets are worth $150-$500, and a few, even more.

7" consoles are rare, value over $300. 
Most 10" to 16" consoles are common, and less desirable than table tops, value $50-$100.

1950s:    B&W Larger screen sizes with rectangular CRTs (DuMont produced up to 30" CRTs). Most had box-shaped cases, usually in mahogany. Most 1950s consoles are taller than wide. Plus, colorful metal portables with 8" to 19" rectangular tubes were mass produced during the period. Large screen, simple sets: $25-$150.

Brightly colored portables $45-$100.

Unusually styled 1950s TVs: $75-$250 and up.

1950s:    Color Early Color TV is hot right now!  
Color TV was tested in 1939 by GE, then CBS and RCA used color from 1946 through 1953 (some had 3 picture tubes inside). Color wheel attachments, and even color drums, were placed in front of, or inside B&W TVs, to produce a color image.

By 1954, Westinghouse, RCA, Arvin, Admiral and others sold 15" color TVs (most with round 15GP22 CRT), and CBS and others sold 19" sets. By 1955, most makers produced 21" round tube color TVs. By the late 1950s, many color TVs used rectangular picture tubes.

Color prototype TVs, pre-1953:
$2,500 up (These need not work or be complete.)

15" to 19" round picture tube color TVs: $500-$2,500 and up (Higher prices for sets with good picture tubes.)

 21" and larger, round-picture tube color sets: $50-$350 and up.

1960s By the late 1950s and early 1960s, Danish Modern influence was shown in some of the television cabinets. Most 1960s consoles are wider than tall, and blonde finish was popular. Plus, large screen, very rectangular portables with metal and plastic cabinets, in subdued colors, were sold. Simple portables and table tops $35-$75.
Stylish portables, working $50-$150.

Simple consoles and combos: $35-$95.
Unusually styled consoles, including Danish Modern designs: $75-$250 and up.

1970s-1980s "Space-age" designed TVs were the rage, with large plastic or wood sets showing the "rocket-ship" influence. Small plastic portables which resembled astronaut's helmets, and even mini flying saucers, were sold!

Very small color sets with CRTs only 1" to 5" were introduced (most LCD type color sets are not very popular).

These are expected to be working, with excellent cosmetics:

Typical sets: little/no collector value.
Unusually designed table tops and consoles, $35-$125 and up.

Tiny CRT color sets: $25-$75 and up.

1980s-1990s Many 1980s and 1990s consoles are wide, wood or wood composite. Typical sets: mostly these have no collector or re-sale value, often going unsold at $25-$50.

Projection sets from the 1980s-1990s: mostly little/no value, often going unsold at $25-$50.

This table copyright 1999-2012  by Harry Poster. 
No reproduction allowed-all media rights reserved.

 

We buy complete Radio-TV Shops, accumulations, and collections!

 We buy old, unusual and valuable TV sets--complete or empty--any quantity!  

We also buy very early radio tubes, better tube testers, ham gear, unusual vintage radios, signs and displays, 
unusual electronics, plus older manuals, books and flyers, and lots more! 


We're in Northeastern New Jersey, but we can travel, or have your items picked-up.

 

             If you'd like to sell your items--or just get more info about them: 

     Please email us, and include:

 
Make and model;
Cosmetic condition;

Type of TV set:
wood, bakelite, blonde, mahogany, table top, console, etc.

Your location is very important (and often determines the value), 

and include a clear photo (even a cell phone picture is OK).         

 

 

Page, photos and content, copyright 1997- 2014 by Harry Poster.

All media rights reserved.