Manhattan Project Relic, 1970s Computer Being Auctioned

NEW YORK (AP) -
A viewing window that shielded Manhattan Project scientists on the secret World War II bomb project from radiation. (AP Photo/Bonhams)
A viewing window that shielded Manhattan Project scientists on the secret World War II bomb project from radiation. (AP Photo/Bonhams)

A window meant to provide privacy to scientists working on the Manhattan Project and a still-working vintage Apple computer — one of only 50 made in Steve Jobs’ garage in 1976 — are among the unique pieces of science history up for auction Wednesday.

Buyers at the Bonhams event will need deep pockets. The Steve Wozniak-designed Apple 1 computer is estimated to bring $300,000 to $500,000. One sold at auction last year for $671,000.

For something really exotic, potential buyers can fork over an estimated $150,000 to $250,000 for a Manhattan Project viewing window that shielded scientists on the secret World War II bomb project from radiation. The clear yellow glass, measuring approximately 3 feet by 4 feet and weighing 1,500 pounds, contains 70 percent lead oxide.

“It’s the first time a full window from the Manhattan Project has come on the market,” said Cassandra Hatton, Bonhams’ specialist on the history of science.

The auction also has a wide range of globes and other technological instruments. They include the earliest electric keyboard, a rare 1905 Helmholtz sound synthesizer with a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.