It's Saturday night, I'm home with a cold, the kids are asleep, and I'm surfing the net...when I come across a link to an article about Jerry Manock, the industrial designer hired by Steve Jobs back in early 1977 to design the case of the Apple II:
Included in the article (which, by the way, is a great read if you haven't seen it) is a scan of the actual contract signed by Jobs for Manock's work. Under his signature Jobs jotted down a brief calculation of balance due, and when I looked at his numbers it suddenly occurred to me they look A LOT like the handwritten serial number on my very early Apple II rev.0 motherboard.
The motherboard is serial number 1-120, which I believe is the 20th production board assembled based on Dan Kottke's comments in the past about numbering starting with 100 and from an old post on MacRumors from the original owner of 1-129 who believes his board is the 29th made:
Anyhow, I always figured my board, like his, was stuffed by Woz himself and that the serial number was written on there by Woz.
But now I wonder...maybe one way Steve Jobs participated in the assembly of these earliest boards was helping to bench test and then mark them with the serial number?
I doubt Woz himself would even remember such a detail if asked. So it's just something fun to muse about. I've thrown together a rough montage jpeg showing the similarities between the two examples. See attached.