Nebraska and the Apple II

Even at this late date, nearly 20 years after the end of production of the last Apple IIe, there are still little bits of the story that come to light.

An article was published in the October 13, 2011 edition of The Grand Island Independent, of Grand Island, Nebraska. The article, written by Robert Pore, made mention of a business in the village of Alda, Nebraska. Located just west of Grand Island (and about 150 miles west of Omaha, where I live), with a population 652 (as of the 2000 census), Alda was home to Leon Plastics. The Alda plant was part of the larger Leon Plastics company, based in Detroit, Michigan, and in recent years it was making plastic parts for the auto industry. Though the Alda plant closed just this year, Leon Plastics in the late 1970s was producing parts for some of the computers that were being manufactured at the time, including the Apple II. Through a salesman from the Michigan office who contacted Apple in 1977, Leon Plastics got a contract to make the case for the Apple II and II Plus from 1977 to 1982. These were injection mold cases, using structural foam for the case material. At one point during the Apple II era, the cases were shipped from Alda to Richardson, Texas, where the computers were assembled at one of Apple’s plants.

In speaking with a former employee of the company, I was told that he believed that at the end of their association with Apple, Leon Plastics also produced some of the early cases for the Apple IIe (which was released in 1983). After late 1982, Apple outsourced to Singapore the production of these cases, and so Leon Plastics role in the story of the Apple II came to an end.

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