How Many SCELBI’s Were Really Sold?

According to Bob Findley, whom I spoke to earlier this year, the often quoted number of 200, is an exageration. Bob said they sold more than 40 completed systems and over 100 board sets.

One interesting thing that Bob said, is that until the Altair came to market, they felt that they had the market to themselves. The Mark-8 wasn’t considered a competitor, as it wasn’t sold as a functional system.

I also found out why there are so few Oscilloscope interfaces remaining (only one is known to exist at the CHM). Bob said that they only sold about 4 of them.

More information from Bob in a follow up post.

2 Responses to “How Many SCELBI’s Were Really Sold?”

  1. Bill Sudbrink says:

    Figuring out sales/possible survivors numbers can be very “interesting”. I have corresponded with several Cromemco employees. I am particularly interested in the Cyclops camera. I have received estimates from “We sold about 200, with 100 returns” to “About 2000”. Pretty wide range. Record keeping was pretty loose and those that were kept are gone. Closer to your heart, I’m reminded of Dan Kottke’s story of tripping over piles of returned Apple I’s stacked on the floor.

  2. Mike says:

    I agree that figuring out numbers can be interesting. If surviving units have serial numbers that made sense, it might be worth appling the solution to the “German Tank Problem” and see how that comes out. I think the Apple 1’s that Dan “tripped over”, were unsold units, not returns, as I only have discovered evidence of a couple that were actually returned. I think that is a case where the numbers don’t “add up”.