HMV combined television and radiogram, model 902, c 1937.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Detail with case open revealing controls. The cost of a television was comparable to the price of a saloon car during the 1930s. This complete home entertainment system from HMV (His Master's Voice), comprising a 9 inch television receiver, gramophone and radio receiver, went on sale in 1937 for 120 guineas, making it a luxury item few households could have afforded. At this time there were only about 20,000 television sets in Britain. HMV's retail history began in 1921, when the first music store was opened in Oxford Street, London, but from as early as 1897 the company had been manufacturing gramophones. The complete home entertainment system offered the perfect opportunity to exploit gramophone technology.