A significant example of an Apple-1 ad, handwritten by Steve Jobs has just sold for over $175,000 USD via RR Auction, an auction house that has a history of facilitating the sale of rare Apple-related items, including Jobs’ personal Apple Computer A Prototype, which sold for over $600,000 USD this time last year.
As for the ad, written entirely by Jobs in 1976, it offers an unprecedented look into the early days of what would eventually become one of the world’s most influential companies. RR shared that the piece was originally given to the consignor during a visit to Jobs’ parent’s garage in 1976, an iconic era for the young tech entrepreneur, who would have only been 21 at the time.
The advertisement, penned in black ink on an 8.5 x 11 binder sheet, served as a draft specification sheet for the Apple-1, made apparent as it’s distinctively headed “Apple Computer-1” and highlights its impressive features for the time. One peculiar note in the advertisement mentions “basic on the way (ROM),” a feature that never came to fruition for the Apple-1 but was later seen in the Apple II.
Confirming the significance of this relic, Apple historian Corey Cohen matched its technical specifications to the original Apple-1 advertisement featured in the July 1976 issue of Interface Magazine — a marketing initiative that ultimately propelled Apple from its humble garage beginnings to global acclaim.
Additionally, the auction lot includes two Polaroid photos taken at The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California. These images showcase the Apple-1 computer board assembled alongside a keyboard and monitor. Another notable photo displays the Apple Basic program, incrementally counting from lines 0ne to seven, bearing the address and contact details of the then-emerging Apple Computer Company. What makes one of the images truly desirable is Jobs’ personal annotation, which reads “fuzzy because camera wiggled.”
The three artifacts are accompanied by a personal letter from the original recipient, that outlines a deep-rooted friendship between himself and Jobs, having begun in 1968 in the 8th grade. RR shares that the narrative of the story journeys through their shared adventures, from bicycle rides around Sunnyvale to a memorable Yosemite backpacking trip. The tale provides an intimate backdrop to the circumstances under which the items were given, revealing a slice of Jobs’ personal life during Apple’s early days.
While the initial estimate was approximated to be $30,000 USD, the ad, polaroids and personal letter ultimately fetched just under six times that amount, selling to an undisclosed buyer for $175,759 USD.
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