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Apple's first trade sign & Wozniak's toolbox up for auction

Steve Wozniak's toolbox

An auction site in Maryland has Apple's first trade sign and a toolbox from Steve Wozniak up for auction — and for a hefty price, you can own them both.

The first item, Apple Computer's first trade sign, has a starting bid of $50,000. It's the first sign used by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to promote their new startup at the time, Apple Computer Company.

Apple displayed it at the first trade shows it attended in 1976 and has used it for years outside its headquarters in California. It features the company's iconic rainbow logo and has the original, weathered wood frame.

The second item for auction is Wozniak's earliest Apple Computer toolbox, with a starting bid of $10,000. It bears his name on the top and was used during Apple's formative years around the time of the Apple I computer.

Both items were previously in possession of M. Thomas Liggett, Jr. who was hired by Apple as a Facilities Engineer 'B' in 1978, Apple Computer employee #114. Regarding the toolbox, he said that before he was hired, all engineers were given a toolbox with their name on the lid.

The original Apple Computer trade sign
The original Apple Computer trade sign

He noticed Wozniak's toolbox lying around for some time and took it after permission from the Apple cofounder.

For the sign, Liggett he discovered a "fluorescent lightbox" in the building and learned it was from the first industry trade show that Jobs and Wozniak attended. Liggett says he was told to throw it away but asked and received permission to take it home.

The website hosting the auction, Alexander Historical Auctions, estimates a bidding range of $20,000 to $30,000 for the toolbox, and a whopping $100,000 to $200,000 price tag for the trade sign.

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