by Brooke Kennedy
As the market for vintage technology began to emerge, RR Auction embraced this in a big way. Each year, RR Auction honors the revolution led by one tech company that started out in a garage. Highlighted in not one but two semi-annual auctions, RR’s Steve Jobs and Apple auctions brings our collectors the extremely rare and unconventional. And, we’re excited to continue the tradition this coming March for our latest event, Steve Jobs and the Apple Computer Revolution.
Leading this auction is a plethora of vintage Apple consoles and hardware: An original fully-functioning Apple I computer, a scarce ‘Darth Vader’ Apple II Plus, and Former Apple C.O.O Del Yocam’s Macintosh 128K just to name a few. Beyond early consoles, early iPod shuffles, minis, nanos, and iPhones will be great additions to any collection.
A Steve Jobs signature has become a highly coveted item for a collector of vintage tech, since he could hardly be considered a habitual signer. But, as with our past events, our bidders are in luck. Multiple documents associated with NeXT and Apple Computer Company and signed checks will be available with some far more uncommon pieces.
One of the first times offering one, buyers will have a chance to snag an Apple Computer business card signed by Jobs. Additionally, the card has been encapsulated by PSA, and boasts a perfect grade of “GEM-MT 10.” When he wasn’t on business, you might’ve been able to find him enjoying the latest blockbuster release as is evidenced by a signed ticket stub for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. A fellow moviegoer received the signature in exchange for swapping seats with Jobs.
Occasions like these also present the opportunity to highlight rich and rare association pieces. Upon the release of the Apple II, Pong creator and Atari employee Allan Alcorn was gifted with an “Apple II Mini Manual” by company founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. A gift given in amicability, as prior to starting Apple, Jobs worked under Alcorn at Atari.
“In 1973 we were growing fast and we needed talented staff. A teenage hippy dropout from Reed College applied for a job as a technician and I hired him because he could solder, read a schematic, and was cheap. That was Steve Jobs,” said Alcorn, reflecting on their first encounter. As part of a thank you for helping Jobs and Wozniak get started with Apple, Alcorn received an Apple II computer which was accompanied by the aforementioned manual, “It has been in my possession since Steve gave it to me.”
Beyond vintage Apple products and Steve Jobs memorabilia, other iconic figures and titans in the world of tech will be represented. Douglas Engelbart paved the way for many of the commonplace mechanics we still use today, all of which were demonstrated in his ‘Mother of All Demos.’ His coding keyset would become the basis for the computer keyboard, and his work on the mouse would later inspire Steve Jobs and his Apple Computer mouse. Collectors of Engelbart’s work will be treated to multiple mouse sets, coding keypads, and prototypes of his typing glove. In one lot that combines the past and present, one of Engelbart’s coding keysets has been hooked to a first generation iPad, perfectly blending the creations of two tech greats.
Rounding out the selection is an early letter from the co-founder of Microsoft. In a letter to Wayne Green, publisher of Kilobaud Magazine in Peterborough, New Hampshire, he mentions his creation known as BASIC. In 1975 Gates and Paul Allen developed a system known as Altair BASIC, the first high-level programming language available for the Altair 880 microcomputer. In discussing his invention, Gates makes mention of other big names in the industry, “as you are probably aware Radio Shack, Apple…Atari…and many other companies sell our BASIC with their hardware.”
Bidding for the Steve Jobs and the Apple Computer Revolution auction will open on February 23 and close on March 21, 2024.