Bidding on 'Extremely Rare' Apple I Manual From 1976 Reaches Nearly $10,000 at Auction [Updated]
Back in 1976, Apple released its first computer, the Apple I. Over a span of about ten months, Apple co-founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs produced about 200 of the computers and sold some 175 of them, making it a valuable collector's item that has fetched up to $905,000 at auction in recent years.
As a testament to just how rare the computer is, an "extremely rare" Apple I operation manual alone is estimated to fetch over $10,000 at auction this week, with a most recent bid of $9,422 on the Boston-based RR Auctions website.
The vintage manual features Apple's original logo on the front cover, which depicts scientist Isaac Newton seated beneath a tree with a shining apple dangling overhead. The manual explains how to set up and use the Apple I and its monitor and includes a fold-out schematic of the system.
"Very few of the original Apple-1 operating manuals—perhaps 65 or so—are known to exist today," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. He added that this makes the manual a "highly collectible piece from one of the most valuable and successful companies in the world."
The manual is said to be in "very good to fine condition," with light irregular grid-shaped toning to the front cover, a short tear to the top edge of the front cover, and a light circular stain inside the front cover.
Perhaps most interesting of all is the owner's message to prospective bidders:
I truly hate to sell it as The Manual is one of God's, I mean one of Woz's greatest gifts to nerdkind. Now I am not a greedy man and have enjoyed The Manual for nearly two decades, surviving two longer-than-they-should-have-lasted marriages and about 5 or 6 moves all over California. Alas, my time with this beautiful artifact has reached its end and I am now passing the torch to you.
Bids are open until July 10 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Update July 11: According to RR Auction, the manual sold for $12,956 to a technology entrepreneur who wishes to remain anonymous.