STEVE WOZNIAK'S EARLIEST APPLE COMPUTER TOOL BOX
THE TOOL BOX THAT BUILT APPLE COMPUTER! An extraordinary relic from the founding of the largest and most influential computer design and manufacturing company in history, the blue steel toolbox owned and obviously heavily-used by Apple Computer founder Steve Wozniak in Apple's formative, pre-1978 years. The aqua-blue enameled toolbox measures 13 in. wide x 5 in. tall x 7 in. deep and when opened has a three-section tray attached to the lid. Additionally, the top of the tool box bears a 4 in. long yellow Dymo self-adhesive label bearing its owner's name: 'STEVE WOZNIAK'. This relic of the days of the Apple I bears multiple signs of heavy use: the exterior, interior and tray bear accumulations of dirt and grease, as does the label, scratches within are consistent with the box having carried tools for quite some time, and the bottom of the box shows much wear from having slid about a rough surface. The tool box was obtained by M. Thomas Liggett, Jr. who was hired by Apple as a Facilities Engineer 'B' in 1978, Apple Computer Employee #114. In 2008 the tool box was consigned, presumably by Liggett himself, to Superior Galleries, then a prominent auction house in Los Angeles. In his letter of provenance which accompanied the tool box at the time it was sold, Liggett noted: '...At some time previous to my hiring , all of the engineers were given small blue toolboxes, with their name in 'Dymo' tape written on the lid. After seeing Steve Wozniak's box laying around for some time, I asked him about it, and he said he had no interest in it. I asked him if I could have it, and he said 'yes'...'. The tool box remains in its original, well-worn condition, with Wozniak's impressed name tag on the box remaining clearly legible. The box was purchased by principals of Alexander Autographs, Inc., one a founder of Alexander Historical Auctions, the current auctioneers of this relic. It was then re-offered at auction by Alexander Autographs in a live sale as Lot 1314 on November 7, 2008 and, along with the first Apple trade sign (see preceding lot), was purchased by an Apple computer enthusiast in Europe. Both pieces, along with Liggett's letters of provenance, were shipped to the buyer and delivered to the All About Apple Museum in Savona, Italy, the only Apple-authorized museum in the world. It has remained on display at that location (except for one-year period on display at the Cupertino Historical Society) since its arrival there in 2008. The original letters of provenance for both this tool box and the Apple trade sign were shipped by Alexander Autographs in the initial shipment with these relics, but during the intervening years both letters were lost. However, notarized statements from both Alexander Autographs' previous owner, Bill Panagopulos, a purchaser of the sign, and the current owner of the sign, both attesting as to the accuracy of the contents of Liggett's letters of provenance, are included. Also included is a color photograph of the tool box as it appeared in the printed 2008 Alexander Autographs auction catalog. Alexander's auction results for the box are also still visible online. Finally, the tool box (and sign) were widely featured in the press following the Alexander auction, notably in the London newspaper 'The Telegraph' (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/electronics/9503276/Ten-most-expensive-Apple-items-ever-sold-in-pictures.html?frame=2321100), and on CNN Business (https://money.cnn.com/gallery/technology/2012/09/04/expensive-apple-products/4.html). Stephen Gary 'Woz' Wozniak (b. 1950) is an American computer engineer and the co-founder with Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, now Apple Inc. which earned $378 billion last year. His inventions are credited with contributing greatly to the personal computer revolution of the 1970s. Wozniak created the Apple I and Apple II computers in the mid-1970s. On April 1, 1976, Jobs and Wozniak formed Apple Computer. Wozniak quit his job at H.P. and became the vice president in charge of research and development at Apple. By 1978, Wozniak had also designed an inexpensive floppy-disk drive controller and helped co-write a simple disk operating system and file system. Thus, in all likelihood, judging from the date of Liggett's hiring and the wear and tear to this tool box, it likely dates from the very founding of today's computer manufacturing giant. A historic industrial relic of great importance.