Altair 8800b Working System, made by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), United States, 1977-1982.
The Altair was widely acknowledged as the first home computer kit. It was developed by Ed Roberts, an American electronics enthusiast who had founded a company called Model Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), originally to sell calculator kits. He was able to source Intel 8080 microchips to power the computer kits for just $75, when the standard retail price was $350, meaning that the kit could be sold for less that $400. Roberts expected to sell a few hundred build-it-yourself kits to dedicated hobbyists, but thousands of kits were bought in the first month. The front switch Altair system was never sold in the UK - this computer was imported from the US by the Head of Technology at a Secondary school in Kent in the late 1970s.
- Computing & Data Processing
- Object Number:
- aluminium (metal), copper (alloy), electronic components, fibreglass, metal (unknown), plastic (unidentified), rubber (unidentified), steel (metal)
- personal computer
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
- Donated by Leigh Academy Trust
- Permanent collection
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.