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2012/19/1 Computer with transformer and packaging, Commodore 64, plastic / metal / electronic components / Styrofoam / cardboard, made by Commodore Business Machines Inc, Japan, 1982. Click to enlarge.

Commodore 64 computer

The Commodore 64 is an important step in computing history: it popularised the up-take of the home personal computer. The Commodore 64 made computing accessible and fun, and although it was certainly not the only home PC on the market at the time, it was definitely one of the most affordable.

The C64 was released onto the market in 1982. It is said to have been the world's best selling home computer - selling more that seventeen million units between 1982 and 1993. During its lifetime it certainly outsold both IBM clones and Apple computers. The Commodore 64 is the subject of many emulations - its popularity succeeding its lifetime by more than two decades.

Commodore was founded in the mid 1950s. It was a small company that sold and repaired typewriters; though did not manufacture typewriters. The company then began to sell calculating machines. By the 1970s Commodore was manufacturing calculators using Texas Instruments microchips. As the market increased, Commodore purchased MOS-Tech - a company that produced microchips. The first personal computer Commodore marketed was the Commodore PET, in 1977.

Damian McDonald, Curator
December 2011


Object No.


Object Statement

Computer with transformer and packaging, Commodore 64, plastic / metal / electronic components / Styrofoam / cardboard, made by Commodore Business Machines Inc, Japan, 1982

Physical Description

The Commodore 64 computer unit has a tan coloured, moulded, plastic shell, with a brown keyed, QWERTY keyboard at the front, and four function keys to the right. The rear of the unit has a series of input / output ports and plugs, while the right hand side features the input and power switch as well as two additional ports for additional hardware. 'Commodore 64' is printed in the top left, with a red light and 'POWER' in the top right.

The transformer for the Commodore 64 has a tan coloured shell, with a black insulated connection lead on the left hand side side, and another power cord on the right side. The commodore 64 logo is stamped on the top of the transformer, with a specifications label printed in white on the back.

The packaging for the computer and transformer consists of a Styrofoam box, base and lid, with internal cut outs for housing the parts. The box is covered by a blue and white cardboard sleeve, which slips over the outside and is open at both sides. The sleeve features images of the computer on all four sides, with 'Commodore 64 MicroComputer' on the front and detailed images of the computer being used on the back.



Both units were designed and manufactured by Commodore Business Computers Inc, Japan 1982



The Commodore 64 was purchased by the donor for his son so the young teenager could learn about computers, entertain himself and gain skills. He used it to play games and develop a knowledge of personal computing. As he became more savvy, the type of games he purchased became more advanced and strategic.


Credit Line

Gift of Rafiq Mughal, 2012

Acquisition Date

23 February 2012

Cite this Object


Commodore 64 computer 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 April 2021, <https://ma.as/428733>


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