Back In The 80s, Apple Shipped This Awesome Little Wrench With Their Products

Back In The 80s, Apple Shipped This Awesome Little Wrench With Their Products

Nowadays, Apple locks its devices down pretty tightly: RAM soldered onto motherboards, proprietary torx screws and parts glued to each other inside cases. About the only tool you’ll ever find Apple shipping a product with that has been designed to help you actually open that device up is the iPhone’s liquid metal SIM ejection tool.

But that wasn’t always the case. Thirty years ago, Apple shipped every 5.25’ disk drive controller add-on kit for their Apple II computer with the adorable little wrench you see in the picture above, meant to help you actually install the card in your machine. It even had a cute little Apple logo stamped into the metal. I wish I had one of those for my keychain.

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  • Aaron

    5.25′ floppy drive? Man, I thought 8″ floppies were big!

  • Adam Silver

    Apple user since 1982…as I still have my wrench on my keychain… I like to be subtle that way.. see how many people REALLY remember those old days!

  • Frank Lowney

    I recall certain successful Apple dealers had them gold plated and wore them as part of a gold necklace.

  • thbthttt

    Those wrenches weren’t needed to install the card per se. Instead, once you’d threaded the ribbon cable through the back, there were a couple of pieces of hardware you needed to bolt together which both kept the cable in place and closed up the hole. I made a point of keeping mine from my Apple ][ plus, although I sold the computer. Even then I was impressed that they’d take the trouble to brand a wrench!

  • RetroMacCast

    I’ve got one on my keychain too!

  • rockofonzo

    Oh man I remember those!
    Yeah, should’ve kept it, like my old P83 can opener I had on my dog tags that would always poke me in the chest, I wish I still had ‘em. Just little mementos, like photos you can actually touch.

  • MarkGregory

    I have one of these small wrenches on my bookshelf next to some old Apple logo stickers. I like the suggestions about putting the wrench on a keyring or having it gold plated. It is a nice reminder of the good old days. And, since I still use my old Apple IIe once in a while, I may need to use the wrench if I upgrade the system with a piece of hardware that uses a port. Fun stuff. Thanks for talking about a mundane object such as a wrench. It just goes to show you that to us Apple fans no item is insignificant if it came from Apple, especially if it carries the company logo.

  • brentb

    and now for something magical….. We call it ‘ iWrench’

    Now I wanna go find one and dig out my IIe

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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