History Hits the Auction Block: Original Apple I Up For Sale

If you’ve ever wanted to own a piece of Apple history, you will soon have a chance to fulfill that wish: one of the first-ever Apple computers is being auctioned off by Christie’s with an estimated price of $160,000 to $240,000. The Apple I, hand-assembled by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and released in 1976, originally sold for the somewhat demonic price of $666.66 – around $2500 in today’s dollars. It is widely credited as the machine that ushered in the era of the personal computer.

Only around 200 of the Apple I computers were built, and today there are just 30 to 50 remaining. The unit in the auction includes a signed letter from Apple head Steve Jobs and the original shipping box with Jobs’ parents’ home listed as the return address. The pre-assembled motherboard was the first of its kind and required users to build their own cases (like the great wooden one up top). At the time, critics said that personal computers would never take off but the runaway popularity of the Apple I disproved all of that.

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See more in History of Tech or under Vintage & Retro. November, 2010.