by Brooke Kennedy
Apple’s influence on today’s technical landscape is almost immeasurable. With their recognizable logo and endless rosters of phones and computers, Apple has dominated the tech world for more than three decades. However, what did the beginning of this journey look like? One Indiana man has put the answer on the auction block.
The featured item of RR Auction’s Steve Jobs and the Apple Computer Revolution auction was an original fully functioning Apple-1 demo unit. Indianapolis resident Doug McIntosh decided to sell the vintage computer after seeing how similar machines fetched extraordinarily high prices at RR Auction. In our December 2020 Steve Jobs + Apple auction, another fully-functioning Apple-1 computer complete with all of its necessary components sold for $736,863. This particular model also came with its original box signed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
“I’ve considered it kind of a nest egg and that I would probably divest myself from it at some point,” said McIntosh in an interview with IndyStar. “I’ve had it long enough and I’ve enjoyed it as much as I can enjoy it.”
The Apple-1 was originally designed by Steve Jobs and Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak to be a bare circuit board that electronic hobbyists could put together themselves. Their original target market was Palo Alto’s Homebrew Computer Club, but Jobs and Wozniak wanted to go bigger. Jobs looked to Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California about selling their Apple-1s in their stores. Terrell agreed to sell the Apple-1s as long as they were fully assembled. Terrell purchased 50 computers and the rest is history.
McIntosh first came across the machine in a local Columbus mall at a place called Data Domain. One of Apple’s first four dealers in 1976, Data Domain was a Bloomington-based store and people believe this is where the term “personal computer” first originated. McIntosh became fascinated with the computer as a 20-something in 1977, and learned all about the computer by fiddling with it at the store. He even became familiar enough to the point where he would answer customer questions despite not working at the store.
“Once I touched a computer, that was it,” McIntosh said. “I kind of became a fixture there.”
When the Columbus Data Domain abruptly closed, McIntosh asked a former store employee if he could borrow the Apple-1. The employee brought the computer to McIntosh at Data Domain’s Indianapolis store for him. After that store closed as well, management said McIntosh could keep the computer, he said. Since then, McIntosh has made computers his career, taking up a career in software development. He has even been acquainted with Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
“I started a lifelong love affair with Apple equipment. I pretty much exclusively have used Apple stuff ever since then,” said McIntosh.
The system retains all of its original components including its striking orange case. This Apple-1 was restored to functioning state recently in 2019 by a man named Daniel Kottke, also known as Apple Computer employee #12. Additional restoration was done by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen in 2022. This vintage computer is extremely unique due to the fact that the computer board is also signed by Steve Wozniak, using his nickname ‘Woz.’ This is an incredible exhibition of the company’s legacy and is a perfect piece for any collection. You can also find this Apple-1 logged into the Apple-1 registry list as #100.
We’re always looking to sell vintage computers and electronics, so if you have anything that fits what we’re looking for, consider consigning it to RR Auction! We have sold many vintage electronic pieces including a Steve Jobs inscribed Apple II manual and Steve Wozniak’s hand-drawn Apple II schematics. We famously sold the original Apple-1 computer prototype circuit board that was hand soldered by Steve Wozniak and personally owned by Steve Jobs.
We can be reached via email at [email protected] or phone at 800-937-3880.
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