Britain’s oldest working television set, the 1936 Marconi type–702, was sold at an auction in London to a mystery American buyer for £16,800 ($27,500), more than three times the estimate, it was announced Wednesday.
The machine was bought new for almost £100 in 1936, just three weeks after transmissions began in the UK.
The original owner, Mr. G. B. Davis from southeast London, spent over half the annual average wage of the time on the set but was only able to spend a short time watching it.
Three days after the sale, a nearby transmitter burned down, and broadcasts did not resume there until after World War II, My Fox Phoenix reports.
Note: The 1936 Marconiphone has a 12-inch (30cm) screen and the image from the cathode ray tube, mounted vertically inside the cabinet, is reflected onto a mirror. There is no channel changer as there was only one channel when it was made: the BBC.