Apple fans may be aware of the mystery of the handwritten serial number on the motherboard of the still circulating Apple 1. Until now, no one knew who the author was.
Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Daniel Kottke, who assembled and tested some of the machines, said they never wrote down numbers. The same answer was given by Byte Shop owner Paul Terrell, who at the time purchased a batch of 50 copies.
Achim Baqué, who maintains the Apple-1 registry (a list of all Apple 1 computers), has finally solved the mystery. Despite Steve Jobs’ refusal, the handwriting seemed to match his. However, as Steve rarely signed autographs, which made his signature and handwriting particularly valuable, the potential impact on the value of machines bearing these serial numbers would have been significant. For this reason, it was necessary to have the greatest certainty.
Baqué asked a leading handwriting authentication service to compare the serial numbers of two of the Apple 1 cards with known examples of Steve’s handwriting. California-based PSA said it could, but more testing would be needed. For this reason, Daniel Kottke, who was Steve’s close friend, provided a series of handwritten letters and postcards from Steve.
PSA took three months to carry out the analysis, also studying numerous photos, before authenticating the handwriting on the cards and solving the mystery. As assumed from the start, the handwriting is precisely that of Steve Jobs.
Learn more at the Apple Registry site 1. If you’re looking for Steve Jobs memorabilia, this week we heard about an interesting auction.