Apple Computer trade sign, estimated at $100,000-$200,000. Image courtesy of Alexander Historical AuctionsCHESAPEAKE CITY, Md. – On Friday, January 27, on the final day of a three-day sale, Maryland auctioneers Alexander Historical Auctions will offer the first trade sign used by the world’s largest company, Apple, Inc., at trade shows and at its corporate offices in the company’s early years of operation in the mid-1970s. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The sign, almost nine feet long, is made of opaque white plexiglas with applied lettering and the now-famous multi-colored apple logo. It is encased in its original weathered wood frame. The sign accompanied company founder Steve Jobs at Apple’s first trade show, and then was displayed outside the company’s Cupertino, California headquarters for several years.
Once the company’s success was assured and a new sign was delivered, this first apple computer inc. sign was salvaged by an Apple engineer, and since 2008 it has been on display at the All About Apple Museum in Savona, Italy. Auctioneer Bill Panagopulos states: “This is undoubtedly the most famous corporate icon of all time, from the very origin of what is now the largest and most respected company in world history.”
In 1976, Apple Computer Inc. had revenues of $175,000. Today, Apple’s revenue is estimated to be $375,000,000,000, and the company that started in Steve Jobs’ garage has grown to 164,000 employees worldwide.
This historic relic is part of a three-day auction of more than 2,000 lots of historic autographs, documents and military items, including: Steve Wozniak’s earliest Apple computer tool box; D-Day maps and orders to the men who freed the way for those trapped on Omaha Beach; an original oil painting by Dwight D. Eisenhower; a straw boater hat worn by Babe Ruth; and a bottle of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild from the French Revolution.
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