Winning Bid: $135,261
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak Signed 1976 Apple Computer Check No. 2 to PCB Maker:
Historic Wells Fargo bank check, 7.5 x 3, filled out and signed by Steve Jobs, “steven jobs,” and countersigned by Steve Wozniak, “Steve Wozniak,” payable to Ramlor, Inc. for $116.97, March 19, 1976. This temporary check, issued upon opening Apple’s first bank account, bears the same routing and account numbers as other early Apple Computer Company checks we have offered—those, however, date to July 1976 and are imprinted with 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. In very fine condition.
Marked as check “No. 2,” this ultra-early check pre-dates the official founding of Apple Computer, Inc.—some thirteen days later, on April 1, 1976, co-founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne would sign the partnership agreement that officially brought Apple Computer into existence. The agreement assigned 45% of the company to each of the Steves, and 10% to Wayne. It also required any expenditure over $100 to be approved by two of the partners—perhaps the reason that both Jobs and Woz signed this check.
Based on the early date, this check for $116.97 to Ramlor, Inc.—a Palo Alto-area printed circuit board maker—likely represents payment for boards affiliated with the first Apple-1 Computers. The product was originally conceived as a PCB kit to be soldered together by the end user, a standard practice for hobbyist computer kits of the period. However, the scope of the project broadened when they approached 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 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.’
Between the exceptionally early date of this check, the payee as a PCB maker, and the fact that it is signed by the two figures that drove Apple’s initial success, this is an extraordinary, museum-quality piece of tech history.