In this photo taken Oct. 18, 2011, processor Dennis Sparhawk checks items on shelves at a Stanford University Silicon Valley Archives storage facility in an undisclosed location in California. Historians and entrepreneurs who want to understand the rise of Apple Inc. and its founder Steve Jobs will find a treasure trove of clues in Stanford University’s Silicon Valley Archives. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
The Associated Press is reporting that “Stanford University’s Silicon Valley Archives currently holds the ‘largest assembly of Apple historical materials’ stored including: an in-house video Apple recorded in the 80s, blueprints for early Macs, user manuals, company shirts, and drafts of Steve Jobs’ speeches — within hundreds of boxes taking up over 600 feet of shelf space in an undisclosed facility outside San Francisco Bay area.”
“Through this one collection you can trace out the evolution of the personal computer. These sorts of documents are as close as you get to the unmediated story of what really happened,” said Stanford historian Leslie Berlin.
Also included in the collection is “Blue Busters” Ghostbusters-style internal ad featuring Apple executives (embedded below). The ad was originally shown in October 1984 at an international sales meeting in Hawaii. Blue Busters is obviously a not so subtle reference to their biggest competitor at the time, IBM.
The interview, recorded for an in-house video with Wozniak and Jobs in the 80s for company employees in the mid-1980s, has the two men recalling the exact moment. But in 1997, soon after Jobs returned to the company, Apple officials contacted Stanford University and offered to donate the collection to the school’s Silicon Valley Archives.
“I remember driving down Highway 85,” Wozniak says. “We’re on the freeway, and Steve mentions, `I’ve got a name: Apple Computer.’ We kept thinking of other alternatives to that name, and we couldn’t think of anything better.”
Adds Jobs: “And also remember that I worked at Atari, and it got us ahead of Atari in the phonebook.”
Items currently stored in the Stanford Apple Collection include:
- Thousands of photos by photographer Douglas Menuez, who documented Jobs’ years at NeXT Computer, which he founded in 1985 after he was pushed out of Apple.
- A company video spoofing the 1984 movie “Ghost Busters,” with Jobs and other executives playing “Blue Busters,” a reference to rival IBM.
- Handwritten financial records showing early sales of Apple II, one of the first mass-market computers.
- An April 1976 agreement for a $5,000 loan to Apple Computer and its three co-founders: Jobs, Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, who pulled out of the company less than two weeks after its founding.
- A 1976 letter written by a printer who had just met Jobs and Wozniak and warns his colleagues about the young entrepreneurs: “This joker (Jobs) is going to be calling you … They are two guys, they build kits, operate out of a garage.”