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Lot #5002
Steve Jobs Handwritten Advertisement Draft for the Apple-1 Computer with Rare 'Byte Shop' Polaroids Taken and Annotated by Jobs

Historic early advertising draft for the "Apple Computer-1," written entirely in the hand of "steven jobs" in 1976, including two Polaroids of the working prototype, photographed at The Byte Shop and annotated by Jobs

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Estimate: $30000+
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Historic early advertising draft for the "Apple Computer-1," written entirely in the hand of "steven jobs" in 1976, including two Polaroids of the working prototype, photographed at The Byte Shop and annotated by Jobs

Original handwritten advertisement for the Apple-1 Computer penned entirely in the hand of Steve Jobs, who incorporates his full signature in lowercase print, “steven jobs,” into contact information at the bottom of the sheet, which also lists his parents' home address and phone number, “11161 Crist dr., Los Altos, Ca 94022, (415) 968-3596,” the original headquarters of the Apple Computer Company. Penned neatly in black ink on an off-white 8.5 x 11 binder sheet, the advertisement, which essentially serves as a rough draft specification sheet for the Apple-1, was given to the consignor during a visit to Jobs’ garage in 1976. Jobs heads the sheet “Apple Computer-1” and states that it uses either a 6800, 6501, or 6502 microprocessor, noting in parentheses that the 6501 or 6502 are “recommended because we have basic.” He continues with an “on board” breakdown: “All Power Supplies, 8K bytes of RAM (16 pin 4K dynamic), full crt terminal—input: ASC11 Keybd, output: composite vidio, fully expandable to 65K via edge connector, 58 ic’s which includes 16 for 8K ram!! Monitor software (for 2 proms on board (256 bytes)) included." Curiously, Jobs affirms “basic on the way (ROM),” which never materialized for the Apple-1, but did the following year for the Apple II. He then concludes by quoting a $75 price for “board only + manual, a real deal.”

According to Apple historian Corey Cohen, the technical specifications of this handwritten advertising draft match neatly with the original advertisement for the Apple-1, which was first printed in the July 1976 issue of Interface Magazine, marking the public start of what would become one of the most valuable and influential companies in the world. In the same Interface issue, this advertisement was accompanied by a product overview article written by R. S. Jones entitled ‘Comparing Apples and Oranges,’ which featured quotes by Jobs as Director of Marketing and Stephen Wozniak as Director of Engineering at Apple. This first marketing blitz granted Apple the requisite funding to evolve from ‘two guys in a garage’ to two of the most influential figures of the late 20th century.

Includes two original color glossy 3.5 x 4.25 Polaroid photos taken at The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, which depicts an Apple-1 computer board fully assembled with an accompanying keyboard and monitor, and an Apple-1 computer screen displaying an Apple Basic program, counting incrementally from line 1 to line 7, which states at the bottom: “This is the Apple System from Apple Computer Co., 11161 Crist Dr. Los Altos, CA 940, (415 \ 968-3596, Steven.” The lower border of the latter photo is annotated in pencil by Jobs, who writes: “fuzzy because camera wiggled.” In very good to fine condition, with slightly irregular toning, partial separation along one of the intersecting folds, and small areas of paper loss, not affecting any readability.

Accompanied by a letter of provenance from the original recipient: “I met Steve Jobs in the 8th grade in 1968. He being new to the school, Jobs was looking for someone to hang out with for the summer, and so he and I became fast friends, riding bicycles all around the Sunnyvale and Los Altos area and even biking from his house over the Santa Cruz Mountains to the beach. We hung out together in the Jobs’ family garage where Steve's dad worked on cars and other projects. One of the projects was a ski boat that Steve’s dad used to take us water skiing at Calero Reservoir in South Santa Clara County. I was also invited to and went on a week-long summer vacation with the Jobs family at Camanche Lake near Sacramento.

In the summer of 1972, my sister, her friend, Steve, and I went camping and backpacking for a few days in Yosemite, a trip that may have sparked Steve's love of Half Dome as we hiked to the back side and climbed the cable trail to the top. The transportation to and from Yosemite was my 1964 VW bus that I own to this day. After that adventure, Steve and I went our separate ways, me to college in Southern California and Steve to Oregon and other travels.

I made a point to stop in to see Steve periodically when I visited my family in Sunnyvale. One visit was at Apple's first office in Palo Alto and another time at NEXT Computer. The last time Steve and I met was in June 2011. Sadly, Steve passed away the following October and I attended his service at Stanford University.

During the time that the Apple 1 was in progress, I visited Steve several times (Christmas of 1975, spring break 1976, and summer of 1976) and saw computers being tested in boxes in the garage. It was during one of these visits that Steve gave me a Polaroid photo of the computer, a Polaroid screenshot of Apple 1 Basic, and a handwritten offer of bare boards for $75 each.”

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Apple, Jobs, and Computer Hardware
  • Dates: #673 - Ended August 24, 2023

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