Trove of Apple's oldest devices up for auction

RR Auction/Cover Images

An upcoming auction is set to include a selection of vintage Apple products, including one of the tech company's first computers.

The model was initially used as a demonstration system at the Data Domain computer store in Columbus, Indiana, in 1977.

Boston auctioneers RR Auction said: "It is a rarity as a signed, operational, and 'undiscovered' Apple-1, not logged in the Apple-1 Registry until this year."

The Apple-1 was originally conceived by Steve Jobs and Steve 'Woz' Wozniak as a bare circuit board to be sold as a kit and completed by electronics hobbyists, their initial market being Palo Alto's Homebrew Computer Club.

Seeking a larger audience, Jobs approached Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, one of the first personal computer stores in the world.

Aiming to elevate the computer beyond the realm of the hobbyist, Terrell agreed to purchase 50 Apple-1 computers, but only if they were fully assembled. The Apple-1 thus became one of the first 'personal' computers which did not require soldering by the end user.

Altogether, over a span of about ten months, Jobs and Wozniak produced about 200 Apple-1 computers and sold 175 of them.

"Presented in its period case, as used at one of the pioneering computer retailers that helped to bring about the personal computer revolution, this is an exceptional and historic example of an Apple-1 Computer," said RR.

It is estimated to sell for over $500,000 (£410,900).

RR Auction's March sale also features other vintage items, including a Steve Jobs-signed Applesoft ROM chip. The chip is taped to the bottom of a typed letter by Jobs featuring the Apple Computer letterhead and dated November 16, 1983.

Other important computers featured are a rare Apple Lisa 1 presented to Del Yocam, a TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer personally used by Microsoft founder Bill Gates when he was an active software developer in the early-to-mid 1980s, and a Macintosh 128K prototype.