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Apple Lisa I Mouse

Thanks to Ken Olsen for contributing this early Lisa I mouse to oldmouse.com, parading in the photos on the right.

The Design

The Lisa mouse design is a sloping beige box. A sleek raised panel, inset from the edges, wraps down to the base on the wrist edge. The single narrow tan button runs perpendicular to the cord, comfortable for two fingers with its nice light spring action. The mouse bottom, cord and button are tan colored. This mouse was stored since at least 1988, so it has not yellowed from exposure to light. In the southwest corner the Apple logo with a bite [byte?] out of it sits in inset relief, shiny in contrast to the textured molded plastic case.

The Bottom

Two small hard plastic feet molded with the base elevate the mouse bottom on the cord edge. Later Lisa mouses had four nylon disks for gliders at the corners. A large round chocolate grey ridged retainer ring holds its heavy rubber coated ball in the the mouse cavity. L marks the locked positon, O the open position. Another early Lisa mouse [below] has a naked metal ball.

bottom view of Lisa mouse steel ball of early Lisa mouse
Lisa mouse bottom and steel ball sitting in retainer ring
Photos courtesy of Jordan Ruderman ©2001

The Lisa mouse is Model A9M0050, but the mouse in the rotating photos never had a label with the model number and serial number because it was a test mouse that was never marketed. Instead, a hand written "114" on a paper label matches the number hand written inside on the motherboard.

Its cord emerges from a sturdy series of four successively smaller reinforcing plates at the mouse joint for stress protection. There are nine numbered pins except that the #6 spot is empty. This locking plug is unique in mouse history. A small wedge on each of the long sides of the flexible band sets into a slot on the computer to hold the plug in place. Squeezing the ridged narrow ends bows the restraining clamp to allow removal of the plug. A later Lisa mouse had two huge thumbscrews like on the older Macintosh MO100 mouse.

Randy Paulson explains about Lisa mouse #114. He worked for Apple Computer from 1982 until 1985 as "Manufacturing Engineering Manager for the Accessory Products Group (later, Division). We were chartered with the development of keyboards, keypads, joysticks, trackballs, mice and any other input device of the time. During the development of the Lisa mouse, we did extensive testing to insure the highest of quality. That mouse was a part of that testing (hence, no serial number label on the underside)." After he accepted a position with Alps Electric (USA) when they purchased the division from Apple, he bought the mouse among the surplus equipment Alps had acquired.