Steve Jobs handwrote this Apple-1 ad then someone sold it for $175,000 47 years later

The idea of anything with the Steve Jobs name attached making money isn’t a new one, but sometimes even we have to sit up and take notice. Like when we heard that a sheet of handwritten ad copy and some pictures just sold for more than $175,000.

That copy was for the famous Apple-1 computer and dates back to 1976. Jobs was trying to sell the computer so he even had some Polaroid photos taken at The Byte Shop. These too are included in an auction that was estimated to end around the $30,000 mark.

That estimate was somewhat wide of the mark — the winning bidder paid $175,759 for their little slice of Apple history — including the infamous lowercase ‘steve jobs’ signature. The lot also comes with a letter of provenance from the original recipient detailing a relationship with Jobs that spanned decades before his death from pancreatic cancer in 2011.

A wonky camera

The collection of items was sold by RR Auction, an auction house with a history of turning Apple memorabilia into big-money windfalls. 

The lot’s description describes the “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.”

The ad copy gets into an explanation of the main selling points of the “Apple Computer-1,” noting that it comes with power supplies, 8KB of RAM, and outputs for connecting to a monitor. Jobs notes that at $75 for a broad and manual the price represented “a real deal.”

The accompanying Polaroid images also show the computer up and running, although Jobs notes that they are “fuzzy because camera wiggled,” which is something any original iPhone user will be familiar with.

Polaroid photos of Apple-1

(Image credit: Future / RR Auction)

While it’s true that modern Macs like the MacBook Pro streets ahead of that 1976 Apple-1, this was a time when Apple was just finding its feet. The story goes that Jobs gave the ad copy and photos to a friend in 1976 who describes having spent time with the Apple co-founder throughout the years — including in 2011 just months before his death at the end of that year.

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