Surprising as it may seem, television existed before World War II. Among the earliest sets was a 1937 “Marconiphone,” released in time for viewing the Coronation of George III. The set was a behemoth—a cabinet console mirror-lid receiver with a 12-inch screen, a turntable for records, and a three-band radio. Bonhams will offer TV in its Fine Mechanical Music & Scientific Instruments auction on November 9th, when it’s expected to sell for $11,000-$14,500.
Even more valuable is an Edison Class M electric phonograph, circa 1891. It transmitted sound by way of brown cylinders, and comes with 24 of them originally supplied by the London Phonograph Company. These include various songs and a 1894-5 recording of an announcer reading Gladstone’s speech to the House of Lords in 1893. The phonograph is estimated at $32,000-$48,000.