Relive The Mac's 1984 launch with rare memorabilia at the Computer History Museum

1984 Mac
(Image credit: Computer History Museum)

It might not be something that those of us of a certain age want to admit, but the original Macintosh was announced way back in 1984 which in turn means it's getting ready for a pretty big birthday. The 40th anniversary of the Macintosh's debut is right around the corner and people are getting ready to celebrate that fact.

As part of the celebrations the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, will be holding a special exhibit of a number of rare Macintosh memorabilia with some of it donated by members of the former Macintosh team at Apple — including Andy Herzfeld, the co-creator of the Macintosh itself.

The Mac has come a long way from the 1984 model all the way to the very latest M3 iMac, and the last 40 years have seen a lot of change in the competing space. But the Macintosh remains a timeless collection of chips that deserves to be celebrated. And this special collection will do just that.

Plenty to look forward to

Those attending the special event can look forward to taking in more than a little history. Not just Apple history, either. The Macintosh was a trailblazer and without it, it's debatable whether we would have the computers that we have today.

"In 1984, Apple launched the Macintosh, a user-friendly computer featuring a graphical interface, icons, and a mouse—revolutionizing mass-market computing," the Computer History Museum's website explains. "Its accessible design made it a cult favorite and set the stage for Apple’s commitment to elegant design, brilliant marketing, and advanced engineering —values that endure four decades later."

"To celebrate the Mac’s 40th birthday, CHM has curated a special exhibit of Macintosh artifacts from both our vast collection and on loan from Apple alum, including rare prototypes and unique memorabilia." And there is a lot to take in.

At the very top of the list of things to see is a 1984 Macintosh complete with keyboard and mouse. Alongside that, we have a wire-wrap Mac prototype which was actually gifted by Herzfeld himself. Another item includes a Macintosh main logic board from the same 1984 year.

And somehow, that's just the start. Other items include various brand artifacts from the 1984 promotional push including the 1984 book on which the whole advertising campaign was built. If it was part of that big 1984 advertising push, the chances are good that it will be in this exhibit, it seems. There's even a replica of that famous leotard, worn by Anya Major in the Macintosh ad that captured so much attention.

A must-see exhibit

Whether you're a Mac fan or someone who is just into computers as whole, this is one exhibit that shouldn't be missed if you have the opportunity to visit it. The Computer History Museum is located at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., in Mountain View, California and tickets are available to buy right now. Those tickets cost $19.50 for those 18 and older, while seniors, students, members of the military, and teachers pay $15. Kids under eight are free, while those aged between eight and 10 pay 6.50 to get in.

The whole exhibition begins on December 15th and will then run to February 25, so you do have plenty of time to make your pilgrimage. Who knows when these items will be together again if you were to miss out?

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • naddy69
    The original Mac screen did not look like that. There was no "dark mode" in those days. That screen looks like it has been recreated using modern tools. The "hello" is wrong, and all the black and white has been inverted.

    For historical accuracy, this is what the original Mac "hello" screen looked like: