Apple Computer Check Signed by Steve Jobs Sells for $46,000

A check signed by former Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs sold for $46,063 at auction this week. Issued by "Apple Computer Company" in 1976, the $4.01 check was made out to electronics retailer RadioShack.

steve jobs check
Jobs filled out the check on July 23, 1976, which was the time that he and Steve Wozniak were working on the Apple-1 computer. The two produced approximately 200 Apple-1 machines, 50 of which were sold to The Byte Shop in July 1976 and retailed for $666.66.

The RadioShack check lists a Palo Alto address for an answering service and mail drop off point that Jobs used while Apple was being run out of his parents' garage.

RR Auction expected the check to sell for at least $25,000, but it sold for more. Apple and Steve Jobs memorabilia has been fetching higher and higher prices in recent years.

Another check signed by Steve Jobs was put up for auction this week by Sothebys, and it too could sell for upwards of $40,000. The check predates Apple's April 1, 1976 founding date as it was written on March 28, 1976. It is one of a handful of checks issued to Jobs and Wozniak ahead of when they received their custom-printed Apple Computer Company checkbook.

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Top Rated Comments

spaxxedout Avatar
25 weeks ago
$4.01 in 1976 is equivalent to $193,921.82 in today’s money, so not a great deal.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
25 weeks ago

No. Back then, when the recipient of a check deposited it, the check went through the clearing process. The bank where it was deposited processed it, then it went to a clearinghouse, then to the bank the check was issued from. The funds were transferred through this process, then the original check was returned to the entity who wrote it, in this case it would be the accounting department at Apple.

So someone at Apple got a hold of it at some point, and eventually it made its way to auction.

These days it works differently, where checks are deposited via EFT and never have to leave the hands of whoever received the payment. But back then, every check you wrote would come back to you. (or your company)
And at the end of the month, spouses would sit at the kitchen table and go through them one by one to balance the checkbook and argue about who was spending too much money ?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KENESS Avatar
25 weeks ago

How do you get $193,921? Inflation calculator says about $22.
He was joking.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
25 weeks ago

I’m curious to know what the ownership history of this check is. Obviously, once written, it was the property of Radio Shack, but did they ever cash it? Did the store owner recognize its potential value and stash it away without cashing it? An employee wouldn’t have had any legal right to it. If cashed, did someone at the bank have a right to ownership?
No. Back then, when the recipient of a check deposited it, the check went through the clearing process. The bank where it was deposited processed it, then it went to a clearinghouse, then to the bank the check was issued from. The funds were transferred through this process, then the original check was returned to the entity who wrote it, in this case it would be the accounting department at Apple.

So someone at Apple got a hold of it at some point, and eventually it made its way to auction.

These days it works differently, where checks are deposited via EFT and never have to leave the hands of whoever received the payment. But back then, every check you wrote would come back to you. (or your company)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macalway Avatar
25 weeks ago

Circuits aren’t something you bought at Radio Shack
They had OP amps, lots of stuff. I'm not sure what you are saying. Though over the years less and less. LOL
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lifeisabeach Avatar
25 weeks ago

Circuits aren’t something you bought at Radio Shack
Yeah. Seems there was a City you could get those at...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)