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Apple Founding Documents for Auction; $100K+ Expected

We've seen some classic Apple machines auctioned online and fetch quite a sum. Next month, another piece of Apple history is on the auction block. Sotheby's in New York will soon auction off the original founding documents of Apple. The documents establishing the Apple Computer Company are signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne and are dated April 1, 1976. The pages are expected to sell for between $100,000 and $150,000 at Sotheby's books and manuscripts auction on December 13.

Though you could probably pick either of the two Steves out of a line up with no problems, the third person named in the documents, Ron Wayne, is less recognizable. This is because Wayne, a former co-worker of Jobs at Atari, left Apple 12 days after he signed the papers, cashing out his 10 percent of the company for just $800. In Walter Isaacson's book about the life of Steve Jobs, Wayne is said to have left because while Jobs and Woz had nothing to lose by starting Apple Computer, he had assets that potential creditors could seize should things go wrong. Had he held onto his 10 percent stake in Apple, it would be worth well over $20 billion today.

The documents were apparently acquired from a manuscript dealer that obtained them from Wayne. They include the original contract as well as the amendment that saw Wayne withdraw as partner.