Maryland firm auctions off Apple’s first trade sign

Chesapeake City, Maryland-based Alexander Historical Auctions‘ next big auction of historic items, starting Jan. 27, includes the first trade sign used by Steve Jobs at trade shows in the early days of Apple Computer in the mid 70s.

The nine-foot long sign features Apple’s multi-colored Apple logo, and is made of Plexiglas in its original wood frame. It was later displayed outside the company’s original Cupertino, California, headquarters for several years.

The first trade sign Apple ever used is 9 feet long, features the company’s multi-colored logo, and is made of Plexiglas in its original wood frame. (Courtesy Alexandria Historical Auctions)

Alexander Historical Auctions estimates it will sell for $100,000 to $200,000 at auction.

The sign was salvaged by an Apple engineer and has been on display at the All About Apple Museum in Savona, Italy, since 2008.

The auction also includes a battered toolbox used by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

In 1976, Apple has $175,000 in revenue. Apple had $394.3 billion in revenue in fiscal 2022.

The thee-day auction includes more than 2,000 lots of historical and collectible items.

Other items in the auction include D-Day maps and orders to the men who first freed the way for those trapped on Omaha Beach, a bronze statue head of Saddam Hussein recovered from a battle at Baghdad Airport, a bottle of Chateau Laffite-Rothschild from the French Revolution, and an early self-portrait by John Lennon.

Bidding will be available live, by phone and at the auctioneer’s website.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the auction house. 

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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