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Lot #5008
Steve Jobs Signed 1976 Apple Computer Check

Scarce 1976 Apple Computer Company check filled out and signed by "steven jobs," paying a local Los Altos copy shop

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Estimate: $25000+
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Scarce 1976 Apple Computer Company check filled out and signed by "steven jobs," paying a local Los Altos copy shop

Extraordinary Apple Computer Company check, 6 x 3, filled out and signed by Jobs, "steven jobs," payable to Village Copy Corner for $5.41, July 14, 1976. Headed "Apple Computer Company," the check uses Apple's first official address at "770 Welch Rd., Ste. 154, Palo Alto"—the location of an answering service and mail drop that they used while still operating out of the famous Jobs family garage. Village Copy Corner, located at 300 S. San Antonio Road, was just four miles down the road from the Jobs family home. In very fine condition. Encapsulated in a PSA/DNA authentication holder.

This exemplary Apple Computer check is the earliest of the three that we have offered—dated July 14, 1976, it was filled out and signed by Steve Jobs one day before he and Woz paid $3,430 to Kierulff Electronics for parts for the Apple-1. That check of July 15th, which we sold in March 2022, achieved over $160,000 at auction. The company had been founded just three months earlier, and they were hard at work building their first product.

Though initially conceived as a kit to be soldered together by the end user—like most enthusiast computers of the era—the Apple-1 became a finished product at the behest of Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, one of the first personal computer stores in the world. Terrell offered to buy 50 of the computers—at a wholesale price of $500 a piece, to retail at $666.66—but only if they came fully assembled. With this request, Terrell aimed to elevate the computer from the domain of the hobbyist/enthusiast to the realm of the mainstream consumer. Wozniak later placed Terrell's purchase order in perspective: 'That was the biggest single episode in all of the company's history. Nothing in subsequent years was so great and so unexpected.'

Moreover, this check is connected to Lot #5009, a sales tax exemption card submitted by Jobs to Village Copy Corner at the end of Apple's first year of business. Although we do not know what Jobs was having copied on July 14th, 1976, we can only surmise that it was something significant to the early history of Apple Computer and likely pertained to the Apple-1—perhaps internal paperwork, Apple-1 advertising flyers, or pages for the Apple-1 Operation Manual.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Apple, Jobs, and Computer Hardware
  • Dates: #644 - Ended August 18, 2022