Baird television receiver, 1936.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
John Logie Baird (1888-1946), the Scottish television pioneer, produced the first widely available television sets in 1930. Unlike his early disc models, this television uses the 'Cathovisor' (cathode ray tube display). Its launch in 1936 coincided with the introduction of electronic television broadcasting in Britain. It originally went on sale for 85 guineas and was a luxury item few households could have afforded. At this time there were only about 20,000 television sets in Britain.