Auction house Christie’s currently has an Apple 1 computer up for auction with a starting bid of GBP 240,000 and an estimated sales range of GBP 300,000 – 500,000 [US$773,100].

Christie’s description reads, in part:

The Apple-1 computer, born in 1976 of the computing genius of Steve Wozniak and the marketing drive of Steve Jobs, launched Apple Computer, a company that would define an industry and become the largest corporation in the world. What began as the attempt of two techie friends to design and build a microprocessor became the creation of the first personal computer, ultimately changing life around the globe. After introducing their new creation to a small group of like-minded friends at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California, Jobs and Wozniak were able to secure an order for 50 computers from Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop, a small local retail outlet. The Apple-1 systems were sold without a casing, power supply, keyboard or monitor, but offered a pre-assembled motherboard, something that put them far ahead of the competing self-assembly kits of the day.

THIS EXAMPLE COMES WITH THE EXTREMELY RARE FIRST MANUAL ISSUED BY THE APPLE COMPUTER COMPANY. Although not credited in the text, Ronald Wayne is well-known to be its author (and he does receive printed credit for drawing the enclosed schematics). The elder-statesmen of the Jobs-Wozniak-Wayne trio, Wayne drew the first Apple logo that appears on the cover of this pamphlet, drafted their partnership agreement, and wrote the present manual. His original logo symbolically connected the nascent Apple Computer Company to important scientific precedent: Sir Isaac Newton sits beneath an apple tree writing on several loose sheets, the glowing apple of inspiration above him, as if about to fall and spring forth innovation. Wayne also incorporated into his design Wordsworth’s homage to Newton from The Prelude: “A Mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought… alone.” The backward-looking style of the logo, blending the Enlightenment’s ideal of science and the Romantic’s ideal of expression, could not conceal the overwhelmingly modern import of the simple text it announced.

Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and the Apple INeither of the electrics nor electronics have been tested. We assume it could be brought up to working order again, as it was when last turned on in 2005, but we recommend a certified engineer attempt this. It is unknown if the capacitors are working but are seemingly sound. One chip at B12 incorrectly inserted. Scratches to motherboard by loose securing screw in bottom left not affecting circuitry. The reverse side has not been inspected since the motherboard is secured to the case with three firm screws. Some writing on motherboard in black ink ‘C4’ ‘C14’ and ‘ 74153 74 139’. Some parts possibly early replacements as is common with these machines that were initially bought by home enthusiasts. The manual [is] in very good condition noting the green title page appears to be an 1976 photocopy, as issued.

Christie’s lot page here.

MacDailyNews Take: We bet Woz could get that thing working again in no time!

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