In a record-smashing moment in iHistory, a vintage Apple computer has sold for $905,000, blowing past the previous high price of more than $671,000 that made news last year in Germany.
According to the Associated Press, the Apple-1 was one of only 50 created in Steve Jobs garage in 1976. The purchase price paid by The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan, dwarfed the $300-500,000 the machine had been expected to sell for at the Bonhams auction house.
The computer, which had been estimated to sell for $300,000 to $500,000, has an intact motherboard and a vintage keyboard and monitor. It also has a power supply contained in a wooden box and two tape decks, Bonhams said.
The provenance on the Apple-1 is excellent and the condition is outstanding, so it was not surprising that it did so well, the auction house s specialist for the sale, Cassandra Hatton, said in a statement. We are thrilled to have broken the world record for its sale, and are even more thrilled that it is going to a wonderful new home at the Henry Ford Museum.
The AP reported an Apple-1 computer was sold last year in Cologne for $671,400.
According to a lengthy post on its website, the museum purchased the still-operational Apple-1 as part of its mandate to bring American innovation to life for its visitors:
The post goes on to describe the Apple-1 as the first pre-assembled personal computer ever sold and first computer with a keyboard and video display, heralding the beginning of the personal computer age. Its origins began in 1976 at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, Calif., where member Steve Wozniak demonstrated his breakthrough design. Coupled with his high school friend Steve Jobs marketing prowess, Wozniak and Jobs went on to obtain an order from Byte Shop owner, Paul Terrell for 50 assembled boards. These were assembled over the course of 30 days inside the Jobs family home – the humble, almost cottage industry-like beginnings of what would become one of the world s most profitable companies.
Credit: This undated file photo provided by Bonhams shows a vintage 1976 Apple 1 computer that was among the items being offered for auction on Oct. 22, 2014 by Bonhams auction house in New York. The vintage Apple computer that was one of only 50 made in Steve Jobs garage in 1976 has sold for $905,000 at the auction. Bonhams auction house says the winning bid came from The Henry Ford museum. (AP Photo/Bonhams, File)