APPLE-1 COMPUTER.
Lot 77
APPLE-1 COMPUTER.
Sold for US$ 365,000 inc. premium

History of Science & Technology

21 Sep 2015, 13:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
APPLE-1 COMPUTER. APPLE-1 COMPUTER. APPLE-1 COMPUTER.
APPLE-1 COMPUTER.
Apple 1 Motherboard, with label "Apple Computer 1 / Palo Alto. Ca. Copyright 1976." Includes circuit board with four rows A-D, and columns 1-18; MOS Technologies 6502 microprocessor, labeled MCS 6502 1576; keyboard interface and connector; 8K bytes RAM in 16-pin 4K memory chips; 4 power supplies including 3 capacitors; firmware in PROMS (A1, A2); low-profile sockets on all integrated circuits; "01-0059" in security pen to underside; heatsink; expansion connector; cassette board connector; and original cassette interface, labeled Apple 1 Cassette Interface Copyright 1976 with "NTI" lettered in triangle on component side, overall approximately 15 x 9 x 2½", on four corner and one central plastic pedestals.
WITH: Custom triad power supply and vintage keyboard integrated into custom wooden box & vintage Apple II mini monitor.
Computer was operational as of July 30th, 2015; a video of that operation can be viewed on our website at www.bonhams.com/video/19792/ .
It was examined and powered up by Corey Cohen, Apple-1 expert and member of the Board of Directors for Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists Museum at the InfoAge Science Center in NJ. Mr. Cohen notes that the Apple-1 "is in near perfect condition. Even the back of the board lacks the typical peeling that seems to exist on nearly all known Apple-1 boards."
Provenance: Tom Romkey, owner of the Personal Computer Store in Florida.

APPLE-1 COMPUTER IN NEAR-PERFECT, WORKING CONDITION.

The Apple-1 computer is the first pre-assembled personal computer to come to market, heralding the dawn of the personal computer revolution. The story of its production and sale has become one of the most potent legends in 20th century history. Indeed, the story is perhaps just as famous now as the one that inspired the company name: Newton theorizing gravity under the apple tree.

Steve Wozniak had demonstrated his breakthrough design at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto and, with his high-school buddy Steve Jobs, obtained an order from Byte Shop owner, Paul Terrell, for 50 assembled boards to be delivered in 30 days. The Apple-1 was built by Wozniak in the Jobs' family garage (or possibly Jobs' sister's bedroom). Approximately 200 units were eventually made, but this is thought to be one of the first batch of 50 with the PCB manufacturer unidentified on the front copper layer of the board. It also bears the number "01-0059" in security pen on the reverse, of unknown significance, though conjectured to be a Byte Shop inventory number. Only 66 surviving authentic Apple-1's are listed in Mike Willegal's Apple 1 Registry as of June, 2015. Of those 66, only 17 are documented as having been successfully operated since 2000. Although the first Byte Shop order sold extremely well (at a retail price of $666.66), there were at least some remainders from the additional 150 and many of these were recycled into Apple II's. Additionally, at least some of the Apple-1 first users sent them back for conversion to Apple II's or modified them on their own. In this context, the state of preservation of this example is particularly remarkable. Of the approximately 15 other working boards, it is not known if any of those are in as excellent condition as this one. In particular, note the nearly pristine state of the motherboard's underside where modifications or prior modifications are typically visible. According to Corey Cohen, the condition of the present example is significantly better than any of the operating units that have come up for public sale in the past 4 years.

The superlative rarity of an Apple-1 in this condition is corroborated by this machine's early history.The owner, Tom Romkey, owned the "Personal Computer Store" in Florida, and was certified as an Apple level 1 technician in 1981. One day, a customer came into his shop and traded in his Apple-1 computer for a brand new NCR Personal Computer. The customer had only used the Apple-1 once or twice, and Mr. Romkey set it on a shelf, and did not touch it again.

For an excellent discussion of the history of the Apple-1 see the documentary: Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview (2012).
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