Science

Apple 1 computer among intriguing technological artifacts up for auction

According to Bonhams, around 200 of the Apple 1 computers were built and were the first pre-assembled personal computers to hit the market
According to Bonhams, around 200 of the Apple 1 computers were built and were the first pre-assembled personal computers to hit the market
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The Apple 1 computer is said to be in working order and, complete with vintage keyboard, Sanyo monitor and owner's manual
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The Apple 1 computer is said to be in working order and, complete with vintage keyboard, Sanyo monitor and owner's manual
The Apple 1 computer is expected to attract bids anywhere between $300,000 and $500,000
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The Apple 1 computer is expected to attract bids anywhere between $300,000 and $500,000
According to Bonhams, around 200 of the Apple 1 computers were built and were the first pre-assembled personal computers to hit the market
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According to Bonhams, around 200 of the Apple 1 computers were built and were the first pre-assembled personal computers to hit the market
This particular model is believed to be part of a first batch of 50 and was sold for US$666.66 at the time
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This particular model is believed to be part of a first batch of 50 and was sold for US$666.66 at the time
According to Bonhams, around 200 of the Apple 1 computers were built and were the first pre-assembled personal computers to hit the market
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According to Bonhams, around 200 of the Apple 1 computers were built and were the first pre-assembled personal computers to hit the market
The Helmholtz Sound Synthesizer, claimed to be the world's first electric keyboard
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The Helmholtz Sound Synthesizer, claimed to be the world's first electric keyboard
A collection of 19th century paintings, sketches and manuscripts created by French physician Antoine-Pierre-Ernest Bazin explores the anatomy of the respiratory system and has an estimated worth of $10,000-$15,000
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A collection of 19th century paintings, sketches and manuscripts created by French physician Antoine-Pierre-Ernest Bazin explores the anatomy of the respiratory system and has an estimated worth of $10,000-$15,000
A collection of 19th century paintings, sketches and manuscripts created by French physician Antoine-Pierre-Ernest Bazin explores the anatomy of the respiratory system and has an estimated worth of $10,000-$15,000
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A collection of 19th century paintings, sketches and manuscripts created by French physician Antoine-Pierre-Ernest Bazin explores the anatomy of the respiratory system and has an estimated worth of $10,000-$15,000
A collection of 19th century paintings, sketches and manuscripts created by French physician Antoine-Pierre-Ernest Bazin explores the anatomy of the respiratory system and has an estimated worth of $10,000-$15,000
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A collection of 19th century paintings, sketches and manuscripts created by French physician Antoine-Pierre-Ernest Bazin explores the anatomy of the respiratory system and has an estimated worth of $10,000-$15,000
A collection of 19th century paintings, sketches and manuscripts created by French physician Antoine-Pierre-Ernest Bazin explores the anatomy of the respiratory system and has an estimated worth of $10,000-$15,000
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A collection of 19th century paintings, sketches and manuscripts created by French physician Antoine-Pierre-Ernest Bazin explores the anatomy of the respiratory system and has an estimated worth of $10,000-$15,000
A letter penned by Charles Darwin and sent to a colleague seeks to uncover the reproductive acts of barnacles
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A letter penned by Charles Darwin and sent to a colleague seeks to uncover the reproductive acts of barnacles
"The points on which I so much wish for more information are— which was the species; if not known could I see a specimen of the kind. Was the probosciformed penis inserted into more than one individual? For about how long [and how many] times was it inserted? Was it inserted deeply & at which end of valves?" An excerpt from Charles Darwin's handwritten letter questioning the reproductive tendencies of barnacles
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"The points on which I so much wish for more information are— which was the species; if not known could I see a specimen of the kind. Was the probosciformed penis inserted into more than one individual? For about how long [and how many] times was it inserted? Was it inserted deeply & at which end of valves?" An excerpt from Charles Darwin's handwritten letter questioning the reproductive tendencies of barnacles
A letter penned by Charles Darwin and sent to a colleague seeks to uncover the reproductive acts of barnacles
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A letter penned by Charles Darwin and sent to a colleague seeks to uncover the reproductive acts of barnacles
A frontispiece from William Withering's An Account of the Foxglove, and Some of its Medical Uses, which documents the physician's discovery of digitalis and its effectiveness in treating heart disease
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A frontispiece from William Withering's An Account of the Foxglove, and Some of its Medical Uses, which documents the physician's discovery of digitalis and its effectiveness in treating heart disease
A 3.75-inch brass Gregorian reflecting telescope said to have been built in the third quarter of the 18th century
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A 3.75-inch brass Gregorian reflecting telescope said to have been built in the third quarter of the 18th century
A 3.75-inch brass Gregorian reflecting telescope said to have been built in the third quarter of the 18th century
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A 3.75-inch brass Gregorian reflecting telescope said to have been built in the third quarter of the 18th century
A wooden barrel-like 7-inch reflecting telescope made in around 1870 has an estimated value of $4,000-$6,000
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A wooden barrel-like 7-inch reflecting telescope made in around 1870 has an estimated value of $4,000-$6,000
A wooden barrel-like 7-inch reflecting telescope made in around 1870 has an estimated value of $4,000-$6,000
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A wooden barrel-like 7-inch reflecting telescope made in around 1870 has an estimated value of $4,000-$6,000
This 1870 table globe has a diameter of 16 inches (40.6 cm), is hand-colored and has an estimated value of $8,000-$12,000
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This 1870 table globe has a diameter of 16 inches (40.6 cm), is hand-colored and has an estimated value of $8,000-$12,000
This 1870 table globe has a diameter of 16 inches (40.6 cm), is hand-colored and has an estimated value of $8,000-$12,000
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This 1870 table globe has a diameter of 16 inches (40.6 cm), is hand-colored and has an estimated value of $8,000-$12,000
This pair of terrestrial globe and armillary sphere was made in 1834 and has an estimated value of $10,000 - 15,000
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This pair of terrestrial globe and armillary sphere was made in 1834 and has an estimated value of $10,000 - 15,000
An original viewing window from the secret Manhattan Project provided a view of plutonium production in the weapons facility
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An original viewing window from the secret Manhattan Project provided a view of plutonium production in the weapons facility
A viewing window from the Manhattan Project, a WWII weapons facility which developed the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs
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A viewing window from the Manhattan Project, a WWII weapons facility which developed the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs
An original viewing window from the secret Manhattan Project provided a view of plutonium production in the weapons facility
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An original viewing window from the secret Manhattan Project provided a view of plutonium production in the weapons facility
A viewing window from the Manhattan Project, a WWII weapons facility which developed the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs
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A viewing window from the Manhattan Project, a WWII weapons facility which developed the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs

We have previously argued here at Gizmag that the rate of technological advancement, which often banishes early iterations of a product to the realms of obsolescence, has obscured the true worth of some of our landmark innovations. As such, sales like the upcoming History of Science auction at Bonhams New York could provide fine opportunities for medium-term investments in rare collectibles, like a 1976 Apple 1 motherboard.

According to Bonhams, around 200 Apple 1 computers were built and were the first pre-assembled personal computers to hit the market. This particular model is believed to be part of a first batch of 50 and was sold for US$666.66 at the time. It is said to be in working order and, complete with vintage keyboard, Sanyo monitor and owner's manual, is expected to attract bids between US$300,000 and $500,000.

Equally intriguing is the Helmholtz Sound Synthesizer, claimed to be the world's first electric keyboard. Built by Max Kohl in 1905, this brass sound synthesizer sits atop a mahogany base and features 11 small wooden platforms fitted with tuning forks, all connected by wire filaments. These filaments are wired to an African ivory keyboard, the keys of which are numbered and labelled with tones. The synthesizer has an estimated value $20,000 to $30,000.

The Helmholtz Sound Synthesizer, claimed to be the world's first electric keyboard
The Helmholtz Sound Synthesizer, claimed to be the world's first electric keyboard

Also on offer will be a range of scientific documents, as fascinating as they are historically significant. A collection of paintings, sketches and manuscripts created by French physician Antoine-Pierre-Ernest Bazin between 1836 and 1842 explores the anatomy of the respiratory system and has an estimated worth of $10,000 to $15,000. William Withering's An Account of the Foxglove, and Some of its Medical Uses, first published in 1785, documents the physician's discovery of digitalis and its efficacy in treating heart disease across decades of observations and clinical trials.

There are also a handful of antique globes, reflecting telescopes, a handwritten letter from Charles Darwin and a viewing window from the Manhattan Project, through which onlookers would observe the production of plutonium for the Fat Man atomic bomb.

You can click through to the gallery too see our picks from the collection.

Source: Bonhams

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