Business of History

Vintage Apple 1 Computer Auctioned Off for Record-Setting $905,000

Apple enthusiasts have no qualms about laying down top dollar for the company’s latest product launches. But one of its oldest inventions -- a primitive Apple 1 computer concocted by Steve Wozniak in the 70s -- now marks one of its most expensive sales of all time.

Auctioned off yesterday by Bonhams New York -- which said it expected the device to fetch $400,000 -- the Apple 1 ultimately sold for $905,000, more than double initial projections.

The winner of the item was the Henry Ford organization, Reuters reports, which said it plans to display the Apple 1 at its museum in Dearborn, Mich.

"Similar to what Henry Ford did with the Model T, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs put technology directly in the hands of the people with the creation of the Apple 1, completely altering the way we work and live," the organization’s president, Patricia Mooradian, said in a statement.

Related: One of Apple's Very First Computers Expected to Fetch $400,000 at Auction

As Apple’s inaugural product -- believed to have been created in either Steve Jobs’ family garage or his little sister’s bedroom -- many have credited the Apple 1 with ushering in a whole new era of personal computing.

When the product was first introduced in 1976, it sold for a comparatively meager (and slightly ominous) $666.66. Only 200 total units were ever created -- of which roughly 15 are thought to be operational today.

In 2012, Sotheby’s auctioned off a working Apple 1 for $374,500. And the previous record price for an Apple 1 was $671,400, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which was purchased last year in Cologne, Germany.

Related: 5 Awesomely Entrepreneurial Artifacts That Will Soon Live at the Smithsonian

Edition: November 2016

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