A treasure trove of rarities, oddities and tech "firsts" has been brought together -- including an experimental 17th century mechanical calculator, a 108-year-old telephone and an incredibly rare, headline-grabbing Apple 1 computer -- to be sold at auction Friday in Cologne, Germany.
This portable copying press was devised by legendary English steam-engine inventor James Watt. The copying apparatus, consisting of metal damping box, pressure plate and special moistened copying paper, was housed in an elegant brass-bound mahogany box.
Three hundred years before the birth of Steve Jobs, the French philosopher, physicist and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, was designing the world's first mechanical calculator, the "Pascaline."
Like many experimental technologies, though, the Pascaline was expensive and rather unreliable.
This image shows a 1905 L.M. Ericsson & Co. desk telephone, known as the "coffee grinder" for its circular shape and distinctive lithographed decoration.
An 1895 Ford typewriter with filigree copper grille. The invention of typewriters in the mid-19th century changed the face of professional writing. The QWERTY keyboard is still the most common modern-day keyboard layout.
The Apple Lisa, from 1983, was produced for only one year, and was one of the world's first mouse-controlled computers. It is now extremely rare.
Basking in the limelight at the auction will be one of just six surviving functional Apple 1 computers. The original Apple was the first computer to be built by the California-based technology company.
The SCELBI-8H was built around the first Intel 8-Bit microprocessor, and fell within the budget of an average person. It was available either assembled or in kit form. It was regarded as one of the first truly "personal computers."
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