The ACE-100 was the first computer produced by Franklin. It was a very close copy of the Apple II, but the motherboard was larger and it had an off-the-shelf case. They were in a hurry to get systems to market and the wait for a custom formed case was many months, so Franklin found a company willing to machine their existing generic cases and paint them for Franklin in a short-term effort.
Like the Apple II, the motherboard had 48K of RAM using 24 4116 RAM chips, and include a RAM board plugged into slot 0 to provide the other 16K.
I started when the ACE-100s were still being shipped, and had one of my desk for quite a while. My old machine is still in the basement, or at least parts of it. When my Ferguson Big Board needed a case, I pulled the ACE-100 motherboard out and mounted the Big Board inside it. Once that machine was retired, I foolishly sold it at the Trenton Computer Festival to Dave Thompson, the publisher of Micro Cornucopia magazine. My original ACE-100 motherboard sits in the basement.
The first few machines (quantity unknown) were given to major investors and the founders, and featured a “gold” plate on the front with the name of the person. I have the one originally given to Jim Simons, the original big-time venture fund provider. Look him up, he’s worth a few (!) billion (Billion with a B). It’s the lowest serial number of any Franklin system, something like 10001. However, it was not the first system made, as a few were built for demos, and when it came to these special machines they were probably all built around the same time and one just happened to be #1, another was #2, etc.