A handwritten job application filled out by Jobs in his pre-Apple days is rife with errors but shows an early ambition to break into tech
A 1973 job application handwritten by a teenaged Steve Jobs, and rife with mistakes, is expected to fetch at least $55,000 (£39,000) when it goes to auction next month.
The one-page application, filled out in what appears to be blue ball-point pen, was written at a time when Jobs was living at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, after dropping out of the university and before he went on to create one of the world’s most valuable companies.
Jobs has said he was auditing courses in areas such as literature, dance and calligraphy, but the application shows an early interest in breaking into the high-tech industry.
Under “Skills”, next to “Computer” and “Calculator”, he writes “yes (design, tech)”.
‘Possible, but not probable’
And next to “Special Abilities” and “Interests”, he writes “electronics tech or design engineer. digital.”, and adds that he is “from Bay Area near Hewitt-Packard.”, in a reference to HP. (Apple bought HP’s original headquarters for £200m in 2010.)
Jobs gives his name as “Steven jobs”, his address as “reed college” and his major as “english lit.”, but indicates he has no phone.
He writes “yes” in response to the question “Driver’s License?”, but when asked whether he has “Access to transportation?” he writes “possible, but not probable”.
Jobs was born in 1955 to a Syrian Arab father and an American mother of Swiss-German descent, who put him up for adoption in San Francisco. He was raised by Paul and Clara Jobs and went to high school in Cupertino, where Apple’s new spaceship-like headquarters is located.
Start-up to global success
After a term studying at Reed he dropped out, but spent the next year and a half auditing courses on Shakespeare, arts and design.
“If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts,” he said in a speech at Stanford University in 2005.
He began his first technical job later in 1973 at Atari, collaborating with Steve Wozniak during the same period. After seven months travelling in India beginning in mid-1974, he returned to Atari for a time. Then, in 1976, Jobs and Wozniak formed Apple in the garage of Jobs’s home on Crist Drive in Los Altos.
In the 1996 documentary Triumph of the Nerds, Jobs summed up the spirit of the 1960s and early 1970s as a sense “that there was something beyond sort of what you see every day”, adding that that formative period was essential to Apple’s later ethos. “I think that that same spirit can be put into products,” he said.
Jobs died of cancer in 2011, aged 56.
The sale by RR Auction also includes two other items related to Jobs, an original Mac OS X technical manual he signed in 2001, valued at $25,000, and a signed newspaper clipping titled “New, faster iPhone will sell for $199”, valued at $15,000.
The auction runs from 8 to 15 March in Boston, Massachussetts.
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