Television set

Still in good working order, the television made in 1936


Still in good working order, the television made in 1936

It was made 73 years ago – and unlike modern gadgets, it was built to last.

A television which was there for the coronation of King George VI in 1937 and which survived the Blitz has been unveiled today as Britain’s oldest working set.

The black and white Marconiphone 702 dates from 1936 and is still in its original condition.

Built to last: The black and white Marconiphone 702 dates from 1936 and is still in its original condition

It has a 12-inch screen and is said to have been made around November 1936, the same month that Alexandra Palace’s BBC television service first aired.

The set likely projected some landmark events, including the Coronation procession of George VI, the 1948 London Olympics, and the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. In new condition, it cost 60 guineas – the equivalent of ‘around £ 11,000 today.

Jeffrey Borinsky (bearded) and Iain Logie Baird with Britain's oldest television.  The black and white Marconiphone TV dates from 1936. Iain is the grandson of the grandson of the inventor of TV, John Logie Baird

TV owner Jeffrey Borinsky (left) is pictured with Iain Logie Baird, grandson of TV inventor John Logie Baird

The only addition is a prominent decoder that has converted everything from analog to digital, bringing the device firmly into the 21st century.

Jeffrey Borinsky, a consulting engineer from north London, entered a competition to find the country’s oldest television.

He has owned the set for ten years. He said: “I still like to watch my Marconiphone every now and then, especially the 1930s cartoons, which the original owner may have seen on set as well.

“And converting the whole thing to digital means I can keep watching it for many years to come.”

Iain Logie Baird, television curator at the National Media Museum in Bradford and grandson of television inventor John Logie Baird, hosted the competition.

He said: “A small fraction of the pre-war TVs still exist – many fell into disuse or were simply thrown in the trash when a new set arrived, and we know about 3,000 were lost. in the London bombings. ”

The set will join an exhibit of televisions of all ages at the National Media Museum.

Do you have an old working TV? If you do, call 0207 9386063 or email

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