Apple history Stories November 3, 2014

Only fully-operational Apple I purchased from Steve Jobs being auctioned, could go for over $500K

A fully operational Apple I computer with documentation showing that it was purchased direct from Steve Jobs is being auctioned by Christies on 11th December. It is the only surviving Apple I known to have been personally sold by Jobs in 1976. Originally bought for $600, the auction house says it is expected to sell for more than half a million dollars, reports Reuters.

The so-called Ricketts Apple-1 Personal Computer, named after its original owner Charles Ricketts and being sold on Dec. 11, is the only known surviving Apple-1 documented as having been sold directly by Jobs, then just 21, to an individual from the Los Altos, California family home, Christie’s said.

Ricketts died with the computer in storage. The current owner, Robert Luther, bought it in 2004 from a police auction.

“I knew it had been sold from the garage of Steve Jobs in July of 1976, because I had the buyer’s canceled check,” Luther wrote on a kickstarter page soliciting funding for a book on the machine’s history.

“My computer had been purchased directly from Jobs, and based on the buyers address on the check, he lived four miles from Jobs.”

In an interesting twist, the cancelled check formed part of the evidence used to achieve historical listing status for the Jobs family home in Los Altos, just over a year ago.

The auction estimate of $500-600K may prove an under-estimate: fewer than 50 Apple I computers survive, and another fully-working model without the Jobs documentation sold last month for $905k.

Apple history Stories May 27, 2013

Apple I computer sells for 1000+ times its original $666 selling price

Remember when we mentioned that you could pick up what is believed to be one of only six remaining Apple I computers in working order if you had “a spare $260-400k”? We were wrong. The NYT reports that the machine broke all expectations when it sold at auction on Saturday for $671,400.

The high prices paid for the machines seem to be explained by the combination of scarcity, a fascination with the early history of the computer age, and the mystique of Apple and its founders, Steven P. Jobs and Stephen G. Wozniak. And some irrational exuberance in the prices, for a machine that can do very little and originally sold for $666 (about $2,700 in current dollars).

The machine was bought earlier in this year in non-working condition for $40k. Its then owner apparently managed to source the parts needed to restore it to working order – nice work if you can get it!

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