Woman unwittingly drops off $200,000 Apple 1 at recycling center

“A South Bay recycling firm is looking for a woman who, in early April, dropped off boxes of electronics that she had cleaned out from her house after her husband died,” Sharon Noguchis reports for The Mercury News. “About two weeks later, the firm, Clean Bay Area, discovered inside one of the boxes a rare find: a vintage Apple I, one of only about 200 first-generation desktop computers put together by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne in 1976.”

“The recycling firm sold the Apple I this month for $200,000 to a private collection, Vice President Victor Gichun said,” Noguchis reports. “And now, because company policy is to split proceeds 50-50 with the donor, he’s looking for the mystery woman who refused to get a receipt or leave her name.”

“‘I remember her,’ Gichun said. He said she was driving an SUV. He’s not divulging any other descriptive information about the woman or her car. In the future, he said, he’ll be more insistent about getting donors’ contact information.,” Noguchis reports. “To get her $100,000 check, the mystery woman just needs to show up at the company’s warehouse at 1310 Piper Drive in Milpitas [California]. ‘To prove who she is,’ Gichun said, ‘I just need to look at her.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oops!

(And Wayne didn’t really put together the Apple 1 units, he worked on the documentation and also consulted on projects such as designing an enclosure for the Apple 1.)


  1. Females more than any other gender have probably done the most damage to collectables by mindlessly throwing them out. Mom’s through the recent ages threw out a lot of valuable comic books. Of course that helped to make them even more rare!

    I recently discovered I had some rare first generation 1967 Star Trek Leaf bubble gum cards I collected as a kid in an old box that are worth some pretty good dough (Leaf didn’t have Paramount Studio permission to distribute and destroyed what it had after scant marketing of them). Now they’ve been graded and sealed in a nice PSA case. At last, an item I kept worth something!

      1. The conventional wisdom is to wait for the next Star Trek film to come out when the fevor strikes again. I have 54 of the 72 cards that were sold but 74 cards total with the rest being duplicates, including having the first and last one in the series.

        It’s amazing how harsh the grading can be though. Cards that look wonderful usually are rated lower than you might expect. I guess they take a lot of things into consideration, including the actual original printing and cutting which can sometimes be slightly off-center. Stuff you had no control over.

    1. I wouldn’t generalize so casually. Many women are pack rats, hoarders. After my mother’s death I discovered comic books, dolls, toys, even my cowgirl costume.

    2. “Females more than any other gender have probably done the most damage to collectables … ”

      This is about the stupidest comment I’ve seen for some time. More than any other gender, out of how many?

      And actually, moms basically made the collector’s market, by throwing things out and making them rare.

      Woman didn’t damage the collectibles market – they MADE the collectibles market.

      1. I explained your first gender criticism elsewhere here, the second about women adding to some collectibles value I included and acknowledged in my original comment. Didn’t you notice or were you so anxious to respond you didn’t bother to read it all?

        Also many collectables were not issued in huge numbers to begin with. The market could use a few more Action Comics #1’s, etc. than were saved, among other things.

    3. Yea…
      Had a few 1971 baseball cards and almost a complete set of 1977. Also had the jumbo sized comic book of 1978 Superman vs Muhammad Ali.
      Dear mom threw them away while I was at college.

      1. Ouch! I also found in my collection some original Star Trek comics, the first of such issued. All in really good shape.

        I had started collecting comics in earnest in the 1980 & 90’s but so did everyone else apparently. Precious few were worth that much. Finally dumped all 5,000 of them getting paid only about 1/3 to 1/2 what I originally paid for them. *sigh*

    1. It’s also interesting that to my knowledge, once electronics enter the recycling stream, they cannot be taken out for personal or any other use. It’s against the law. I took some stuff to a recycling event and there was an iMac, the kind with the floating monitor and arm. I asked to retrieve it as I wanted to for my collection and I was told it was against the law to take anything out of the items being recycled.

      1. I think the center in this article caught it before entering it into the normal recycling stream as they were unpacking boxes. Perhaps in your case that ‘point’ had passed. Was it part of the stuff you brought in? (e.g. you had stuff in boxes other people had you bring in since you were already going) Or was it something already sitting at the recycler’s?

            1. Maybe they were just being jerks but they were pretty adamant that it was against state law to take something out once it had been turned in to be recycled. I’m glad it was saved from the scrap heap. At the time these were being produced in 1977 I was spending hours in computer stores lusting after an Apple II and eventually settled for a Radio Shack Model I for Christmas 1977 because of price.

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