NeXT mousepad (c. 1990)

While not an official Apple item, the company NeXT was an important part of Apple’s history. NeXT was founded in 1985 by Steve Jobs after he was forced out of Apple. NeXT created computer workstations that were intended for use in higher education and business and ran an innovative operating system called NeXTSTEP.

The first Internet web server was a NeXTcube used by Tim Berners-Lee.

NeXT stopped making hardware in 1993 and focused on software such as the programming environments of NeXTSTEP and WebObjects.  

Apple purchased NeXT in 1997 and Steve Jobs returned to Apple as an advisor. Apple ported the NeXT operating system to the Macintosh platform and the implementation became the Mac OS X operating system. 

This NeXT mousepad is primarily black and features the NeXT logo on a six-sided design. It measures 8.125 x 8.125 inches with a shape that is stylized to appear as a black cube (matching the NeXT logo designed by Paul Rand). The mousepad has a rubber base with a textured bottom surface that is 0.125 inches thick. The back of the mousepad has two stickers, the manufacturer (Data Pad from Orem, Utah) and the product name (“SPEED PAD”).

Sources: Wikipedia, Logo Design Love

Luggage Tag (running person, c. 1990)

This plastic luggage tag is printed on green translucent plastic and features the stylized image of a running person. The upper-right corner includes a silver Apple logo. The tag has a clear rubber loop that can be used to attach the tag to a luggage handle.

I do not recognize this specific design as it relates to an Apple product or service. If you have any history on this design, please contact me.

The luggage tag measures 4.25 x 2.25 inches.

Leather ID/Card Holder with Key Ring (c. 1990)

This Leather ID/Card Holder with Key Ring features two pockets on one side, a clear plastic-covered window on the opposite side, and a zippered pocket in the center. The black holder is made from genuine leather and features an embossed Apple logo and the Apple logotype printed in the Apple Garamond font (used by Apple from 1984–2003).

The holder was made by Eisinger-Smith, Inc., a company that began in 1980 and as of now (2021) specializes in custom printed golf accessories. The Leather ID/Card Holder with Key Ring measures 3 x 4 inches.

Source: Eisinger-Smith

Apple Corporate Office Letters (c. 1990)

This set of Apple latters was used in the Chicago Apple Corporate Office in the early 1990s. At the time, Apple maintained a downtown Chicago office at 10 South Wacker Drive. My best guess is that the letters were displayed at some time between 1990–2003.

I purchased these on eBay in about 2003. The seller, presumably a former employee at this office, sent an envelope with the letters (pictured) indicating that Apple Enterprise Software was located at this office. At one time, 10 South Wacker Drive also housed Apple’s Chicago Executive Briefing Center. I personally visited the Chicago Executive Briefing Center on several occasions for education-related events, but I do not specifically remember seeing these letters mounted on a wall.

The five letters are made of textured aluminum and are about 4 mm thick. The front of the letters uses a vertically textured “grain” while the backs are flat aluminum. For reference, the “A” is approximately 4 inches tall and 3 inches wide. The back of each letter includes two or three threaded holes. The letters arrived with aluminum threaded posts that had been snipped off (although a few were missing). Each letter is hand-numbered on the back with a marker.

The letters are in Apple Garamond, the Apple corporate font from 1984–2003.

Source: Wikipedia

Microphone (1990)

The Apple Microphone shipped with Macintosh LC computers and could be purchased separately. The package included a microphone and a holder with a self-adhesive back. The Microphone was an omnidirectional condenser microphone with a frequency range of 100 Hz to 10 KHz. The cable terminated in a 3.5 mm stereo plug.

The Microphone is known as a PlainTalk Microphone. The following Macs support the PlainTalk Microphone according to Apple: Quadra 605,630,660,840; Centris 660; LC 475, 605, 520, 550, 575, 580, 630; Performa 475, 476, 520, 550, 560, 575, 577, 578, 580, 588, 630, 631, 635, 636, 637, 638, 640, 5200, 5210, 5115, 5220, 5260, 5270, 5280, 5300, 5320, 5400, 5410, 5420, 5430, 5440, 6110, 6112, 6115, 6116, 6117, 6118, 6200, 6205, 6210, 6214, 6216, 6218, 6220, 6230, 6260, 6290, 6300, 6310, 6320, 6360, 6400, 6410, 6420; Network Server 500, 700; Workgroup Server 6150, 7250, 7350, 8150, 8550, 9650; G3 Server 233, 266; G4 Server 500MHz; PowerMac 4400, 5200, 5260, 5300, 5400, 5500, 6100, 6200, 6300, 6400, 6500, 7100, 7200, 7215, 7220, 7300, 7500, 7600, 8100, 8115, 8200, 8500, 8515, 8600, 9500, 9515, 9600; PowerMac G3 Beige Desktop & Mini Tower, G3 Blue & White; Twentieth Anniversary Mac; iMac G3; and PowerMac G4 PCI, AGP, GE.

I have two different versions of the packaging for these microphones. The white box is from 1990 and the brown cardboard box version is from 1991. The part number on the box is 699-5103-A.


Macintosh Classic (1990)

The Macintosh Classic was a less expensive interpretation of the Macintosh Plus with an updated case design that still retained the classic Macintosh look. It featured an 8 MHz 68000 processor, 1 MB of 2 MB of RAM, and either a 1.44 MB disk drive or a 1.44 MB disk drive, and a 40 MB hard drive. the screen was a 9-inch monochrome CRT display.

The Macintosh Classic was the first Mac to sell for under $1,000 (at $999).