Sunday, January 24, 2010


Here is another very, very, rare item. Its an Apple Lisa 1, with two 5 1/4" (twiggy) drives. What makes the system rare are the two twiggy drives (which were slow and unreliable, Apple later replace them with 3.5 drives).

The asking price for the system is $12,000, which I hate to say is the going price. The spare parts for this system are expensive too, for example the mouse on this system generally sells for about $100 all by itself.

APPLE LISA 1 COMPUTER -RESTORED & WORKING! -BEYOND RARE - eBay (item 260539569343 end time Jan-17-10 22:00:05 PST)

eBay: Original Apple 1 computer for sale (only $50,000)

I accidently came across this piece of history. Although, you missed your chance to buy this item, the auction information is still up on eBay.

Original Apple 1 computer for sale - eBay (item 320451173813 end time Nov-22-09 05:57:16 PST)

Just in case eBay takes the auction down, here is a PDF that someone posted of the item.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Interesting Vintage Technology You Never Heard Of...

The Besler Steam Plane

A Travel Air 2000 biplane made the world's first piloted flight under steam power over Oakland, California, on 12 April 1933.

The strangest feature of the flight was its relative silence; spectators on the ground could hear the pilot when he called to them from mid-air.
The aircraft, piloted by William Besler, had been fitted with a two-cylinder, 150 hp reciprocating engine.

Armstead Snow Motors

This is a 16mm demo film of the Armstead Snow Motors Company concept snow vehicle. It was filmed in 1924. The concept is applied to a Fordson tractor and a Chevrolet automobile. The original film is part of the collections of the Archives of Michigan.

Monday, January 11, 2010

1939 Novachord

The following excerpt is from email that was sent me to me a by a reader, I thought I would include it because this definitely meets the classification of vintage technology (i.e.: 1939):

"I have spent the last 3 months restoring an extremely rare example of the world's first commercial polyphonic music synthesizer, a 1939 Novachord. This beast was built in 1939, weighs 1/4 ton and has 163 electronic tubes (valves). 1069 were made between 1939 and 1941. This is now one of less than 30 or so playable examples world wide and is very likely to be the only one in the UK. The Novachord was probably one of the spookiest sounding synths ever made and can sound really creepy at times - it found it's way into countless early scifi and horror films.

The Novachord cost $1800 in 1939 - ie. as much as a house!!

Your readers may be interested in this monster as very few, even including professional electronic musicians, have any idea that polyphonic synths go back this far!

Here is an HQ recording of some sounds I recorded from the beast: (A very rare opportunity indeed!)

My restoration blog is here:


Dan Wilson
Hideaway Studio, UK. "
If you have some vintage technology that you would like me to highlight in this blog, please feel free to email me (ubergeek316 {at} gmail {dot} com).