This duffel bag is from the late 1990s when the Internet was still considered “new” to most users. The bag is made of black nylon with stitched straps and features a zippered side panel with a plastic enclosure to separate shoes or clothing. It also has a clip-on shoulder strap with silver metal hardware.
The cartoon-style embroidery logo is a stylized surfer carrying a surf board with a tiny red Apple logo. The figure is holding a cable that is likely a “surfboard leash”—a cord attached to the deck of a surfboard to a leg strap that prevents the board from being swept away or hitting other surfers. Although the cord at first glance appears to be a music player, this duffel bag predates the iPod by several years, and Apple sold no other portable devices with this design.
Under the surfer are the embroidered letters www.apple.com in a sans serif type that resembles Helvetica.
In my research, I have never seen another duffel bag of this design. Please contact me if you have additional history or information on this item.
This high-quality conference bag was distributed at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in Chicago that was held in June 2001. This organization and conference are still held annually, but the conference changed its name around 2010 to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference.
The bag is made from a thick, smooth, rubber-like material. One side features an embroidery “2001 CHICAGO NECC” logo, and the other side is emblazoned with a large white embroidery Apple logo. The inside includes a flap with a zippered pocket.
This NECC was significant because Steve Jobs was the keynote speaker, and Apple had a major presence on the conference floor. An Apple press release states:
“Apple today demonstrated its ongoing commitment to providing innovative technology solutions for education at the National Educational Computing Conference in Chicago. During the opening keynote, Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, announced that three more school districts…will be implementing the PowerSchool from Apple student information system.”
Apple highlighted several industry-leading educational technology products at NECC, including: the iBook and AirPort (“Wirelessly-networked notebook computers which give educators the flexibility to have computer-assisted learning anywhere”); “Tools from Apple, including iMovie and iDVD, enhance learning and make school more engaging and motivating for students;” and PowerSchool.
I attended NECC and received this bag during the conference.