A United States Recycling Center is looking for a woman who threw out a very rare Apple I computer that was built by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne. They collected $200,000 for it and are looking for the owner to share the money.
Clean Bay Area in California’s Silicon Valley, a professional e-waste recycling and excess inventory company, was in for a huge surprise when they realized what had accidentally landed on their premises. They were in possession of an extremely rare, handmade Apple I computer. The first generation computer was one of only about 200 desktop computers that were assembled by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne in 1976 in the small garage belonging to Steve’s parents.
It is nearly impossible to get your hands on a vintage Apple I computer. Most of them have been accounted for and fetch thousands of dollars in auctions. These computers rarely show up, and when they do, they command top dollar. Hence when the Apple computer arrived at the recycling center, he couldn’t believe it, said Victor Gichun, who owns the recycling center.
“We really couldn’t believe our eyes. We thought it was fake.”
However, the Apple I computer was authentic. Though the center hasn’t confirmed if the vintage computer was operational or not, they didn’t have much trouble searching for a buyer.
The Milpitas-based recycling firm sold the Apple I for $200,000 to a private collection. As the company has a policy of giving 50 percent of the money generated by the sale of the items, it is searching for the original owner. Mr. Gichun is keenly interested in sharing the money received from the buyer, who wishes to be anonymous.
However, the search for the woman is proving difficult. The mystery woman had cleaned out the garage after her husband had passed away, and when she brought multiple boxes to the recycling center, she did not want a tax receipt or leave her contact information.
The Apple I computer was found in one of the several boxes she had left at the recycling center. Mr. Gichun says he remembers her face and would very much like to come back to claim her $100,000.
The last time an Apple I computer was up for grabs, it fetched $671,400, but that was in an auction setting. Perhaps it would have been wise if the recycling center would have put up their Apple I into an auction. The mystery woman would have several hundred thousand dollars richer.
[Image Credit | Auction Team Breker]