An important Steve Jobs-written Apple-1 ad just sold for more than $175,000 USD at RR Auction, which has a history of selling rare Apple-related items, like Jobs’ personal Apple Computer A Prototype, which sold for over USD 600,000 around this time last year.
Jobs wrote the 1976 ad, which provides a unique view of the early days of what would become one of the world’s most important organizations. RR gave the vendor the artwork when he visited Jobs’ parents’ garage in 1976. This was a big year for the young tech entrepreneur, who would have been 21 years old at the time.
The ad, written in black ink on an 8.5 x 11 piece of binder paper, was a draft specification sheet for the Apple-1. This is clear from the fact that it is titled “Apple Computer 1” and lists some of the computer’s best features at the time. One strange thing about the ad is that it says “basic on the way (ROM),” which was a feature that never came to the Apple-1 but did come to the Apple II.
Rare Apple-1 Relic Offers a Glimpse into the Early Days of Apple
Apple historian Corey Cohen matched the technical specs of this relic to the original Apple-1 ad that ran in the July 1976 issue of Interface Magazine. This ad was part of a marketing campaign that helped Apple grow from a small garage business to a global brand.
Two Polaroid pictures taken at The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, are also part of the auction lot. These photos show the Apple-1 computer board with a keyboard and screen. Another important picture shows the Apple Basic program, which counts from line one to line seven and has the address and phone number of the Apple Computer Company at the time. One of the pictures is especially interesting because Jobs wrote on it, “Foggy because the camera moved.”
The three items come with a letter from the original owner that talks about how he and Jobs became close friends in 1968, when they were both in the eighth grade. RR says that the story is about all of their adventures together, from riding bikes around Sunnyvale to a great backpacking trip in Yosemite. It reveals Jobs’ early Apple life and how things were given.
The ad, images, and personal letter sold for $175,759 USD to an unidentified buyer, slightly under six times the initial estimate of $30,000.
The 1976 Apple-1 ad material was authored by Steve Jobs. The document includes the technical specifications of the Apple-1, as well as its price and contact information for ordering.
There are a few places where you can learn more about the Apple-1 ad copy. First, the RR Auction website offered ad copy. You can also find information about the ad copy on the website of Apple historian Corey Cohen. Finally, several Apple-1 books and articles provide ad copy content.