Have you started spring cleaning yet? As you go through your belongings, you’re bound to find some things you haven’t used in decades. Many of these older items tend to be sold for a few bucks at a garage sale or given away to Goodwill.
But as you sort through everything, make sure you don’t get rid of anything really valuable. Handy, an app for finding housekeepers and repairmen, asked Bonhams, an international auction house, to identify old, rare technology you might have lying around the house. Here are 10 vintage tech items that could be worth thousands of dollars.
1. Denoyer-Geppert Lunar Globe — Auctioned off for $4,250
Only 200 of these globes were made between 1969 and 1972 to commemorate the Apollo 10 space mission. Several other companies made lunar globes like this, but the Denoyer-Geppert globe is the only one that was contracted by NASA.
2. Civil War-era Telegraph Key — Listed between $1,000-$1,500
Samuel F.B. Morse, Joseph Henry and Alfred Vail invented Morse Code in 1836. After a demonstration in 1844, several manufacturers began producing this instrument to keep up with new technology, and, by the 1860s, several people were using them.
3. RCA TRK-12 — Auctioned off for $5,900
These television sets from the 1930s are some of the rarest and oldest in the world. It was on display at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, and it was the first TV that many Americans had ever seen. Only about 1,600 sets were made.
4. Kenbak-1 Computer — Auctioned off for $31,250
Computer historians consider then Kenbak-1 to be the first personal computer ever made. Only 50 were produced, and only 14 may still be in existence today.
5. Enigma Machines — Auctioned off for $463,500
Enigma machines were used during World War II to decode military communications from the opposing forces. Then the Germans and the British were ordered to destroy the machines toward the end of the war. A few were recovered, and they became souvenirs for U.S. soldiers returning home.
6. Apple I Computer — Auctioned off for $905,000
The Apple I Computer is the first product that Apple Inc. ever sold. Steve Wozniak designed and built it in 1976. Wozniak and Steve Jobs sold each computer for $666.66, which is around $2,806 today. It’s believed that only 66 still exist.
7. Apple II Computer — Auctioned off for $6,100
The follow-up to Apple Inc.’s first computer was produced between 1977 and 1981, and about 40,000 units were sold all over the world.
8. Signed Richard Feynman autobiography and interview tape — Auctioned off for $37,500
Richard Feynman is a famous physicist known for his work on the Manhattan Project. In 1985, he released this autobiography, “Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman”, and claimed he would not go on TV or sign any copies of the book. Anything associated with him, including students’ notes from his lectures at Cornell University and the California Institute of Technology, are considered rare and very valuable.
9. Zenith ‘Companion’ Portable Radio — Auctioned off for $12,000
The Zenith ”Companion” radio was built in 1924 and is considered the first-ever portable radio. Only 1,000 were made, and 600 were returned to the factory because customers felt they were “unsatisfactory.”
10. Snow White PlayStation 2 — Listed between $780-$1,180
This special edition “Snow White” PlayStation 2 and matching controller may look a lot like the standard white classic PlayStation 2. The difference is that the “Snow White” version has a glossy, pure white finish. Only 666 consoles were made to be sold in each region.
Now, that was a blast from the past! If you find any of these items laying around, contact an auction house like Bonhams. And for more helpful hints about getting things done around the house, take a look at Handy.