It belongs in a museum, and that's where an historic Apple-1 computer went after selling for just shy of a million dollars at an auction in New York.
The rare Apple-1 was one of hundreds that Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak cranked out in a garage in the late 1970s. It went up for auction at the Bonhams History of Science auction in New York and has now gone to live next to Model Ts in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
"It has actually been on our collecting plan for many, many years," Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford, said. "To have this Apple-1 is very important because our collection focuses on innovation, ingenuity, and resourcefulness, which are great American traditions."
The historic machine was expected to sell somewhere between and $300,000 and $500,000, but it left the auction at $750,000. With auction fees tagged on, the Apple-1 was sold to The Henry Ford for $905,000.
While more than 100 were put together, the Apple-1 that went to Dearborn was one of the first 50 the Apple founders assembled. Only 63 Apple-1 computers are said to survive to date, 15 of which were still in working order since 2000.
"The opportunity to acquire an Apple-1 is a rare one, given their low production numbers," said Kristen Gallerneaux, curator of communication and information technology at The Henry Ford. "The likelihood that a unit as complete as this will come up for auction is slender."
The Henry Ford looks at how artifacts will improve its ability to tell the important tales of American culture and the innovators who've starred in those stories, according to Mooradian.
"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," said Mooradian. "The Apple-1 was not only innovative, but it is a key artifact in the foundation of the digital revolution."
While the computer that spawned iMacs and iPads found buyers, the chip that may have paved the way for Jobs' and Wozniak's innovations failed to find a home after it went up for auction in June. Bidding for the integrated circuit reached $850,000, but Texas Instruments stated it couldn't verify authenticity of the chip said to be Jack Kilby's original prototype.