RCA TV Cost 72 Hours of Work At Avg. Wage ($2.05/hr.) in 1959 = $1,350 Today @ $18.52/hour
The 1959 RCA TVs pictured above sold for $150 retail, which would be about 72 hours of work then at the average hourly manufacturing wage of $2.05. At today's hourly wage of $18.52, that amount of work (72 hours) would be equivalent to $1,350 in today's dollars. Today you can get a 19 inch LCD HDTV for as little as $138, which would be only 7.5 hours of work at the average hourly wage.
Bottom Line: In 1959, the average worker had to work 9 full 8-hour days (almost two weeks) to earn enough income to purchase a 17 inch portable TV (ignoring taxes), and today's average worker would earn enough income in less than one day (7.5 hours) to purchase a 19 inch LCD HDTV.