Historical Highlights of Hewlett-Packard Company
Reprinted from SMEC Vintage Electrics Vol. #3, Issue #1 1991 (
* Dave and Lucile Packard move into house at 367 Addison Avenue, Palo Alto, Calif.; Bill Hewlett rents cottage behind the house and Bill and Dave begin part-time work in the garage with $538.
* First product: The resistance-capacity audio oscillator (HP 200A), an electronic instrument used to test sound equipment, represents a breakthrough in technology from existing oscillators in size, price and performance.
* First major customer: Walt Disney orders eight oscillators (HP 200B) for the production of the movie "Fantasia."
* Form partnership January 1, 1939.
* Coin toss decides company name.
* Move from garage to rented building next to the present Polly and Jake’s Antique Shop at Page Mill Road and El Camino Real, Palo Alto.
* Net revenue: $34,000; Employees: 3 Products: 8
* Construct first HP-owned building: 395 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto (Redwood building).
* Incorporated August 18, 1947.
* Net revenue: $2 million; Employees: 146; Products: 70
* HP invents the high-speed frequency counter (HP 524A) and greatly reduces the time required (from approximately 10 minutes to one or two seconds) to accurately measure high frequencies. One application: radio stations use the HP 524A to accurately set frequencies (e.g., 104.7 FM) to comply with FCC regulations for frequency stability.
* First public stock offering: November 6, 1957.
* HP corporate objectives written.
* HP begins manufacturing in its first building in Stanford Research Park, Palo Alto.
* HP’s first acquisition: F. L. Moseley Company of Pasadena, California, producer of high-quality
* Net revenue: $51 million; Employees: 1,778; Products: 373
* Establish presence overseas with European marketing organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and first manufacturing plant outside Palo Alto in Boblingen, West Germany.
* Establish first U.S. manufacturing operation outside Palo Alto in Loveland, Colorado.
* Enter medical field with purchase of Sanborn Company, Waltham, Massachusetts.
* Listed on New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges.
* First HP listing on Fortune magazine’s list of the top 500 U.S. companies: No. 460.
* First joint venture (with Yokogawa Electric Works): Yokogawa Hewlett-Packard, Tokyo, Japan.
* 25th anniversary year.
* The HP 5060A, a cesium-beam standard instrument, gains worldwide recognition as the "flying clock." International standards for time set by flying the HP 5060A around the world. HP engineers take a 35-day, 35,000-mile trip with two new cesium-beam clocks to coordinate the national time standards of various countries to within a millionth of a second.
* Net revenue: $136 million; Employees: 7,500; Products: 1,500
* HP enters the analytical-instrumentation field with the acquisition of F&M Scientific Corporation, Avondale, Pennsylvania.
* HP Laboratories formed. The company’s central research facility, it is one of the world’s leading electronic research centers.
* HP’s first computer, the HP 2116A, designed as a controller for some of the company’s test and measurement instruments.
* Introduce world’s first desktop scientific calculator: HP 9100A.
* Daue Packard appointed U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense (serves from 1969-71).
* Net revenue: $365 million; Employees: 16,000
* HP pioneers the era of personal computing with the first scientific handheld calculator, the HP-35, which made the engineer’s slide rule obsolete.
* Branch into business computing with the HP 3000 minicomputer.
* John Young named HP president (appointed CEO in 1978).
* HP introduces its first personal computer, the HP-85.
* Net revenue: $3 billion; Employees: 57,000
* Introduce HP 9000 technical computer with 32-bit "Superchip" technology - the first "desktop mainframe" - as powerful as room-sized computers of the 1960s.
* Introduce first HP Touchscreen personal computer, the HP 150.
* Pioneer inkjet printing technology with introduction of HP Thinkjet printer.
* Introduce HP LaserJet printer, HP’s most successful single product ever.
* Introduce broad new family of computer systems based on innovative new HP Precision Architecture. This
development effort code-named "Spectrum program," cost more than $250 million over five years - HP’s most expensive R&D effort ever.
* Net revenue: $7.1 billion; Employees: 82,000
* Bill Hewlett retires as vice chairman of the board of directors.
* Walter Hewlett (son of Bill) and David Woodley Packard (son of Dave) elected to the board of directors.
* Surpass $10 billion in orders for the first time.
* HP listed on Tokyo stock exchange - first listing outside U.S.
* HP moves into top 50 on Fortune 500 listing: No. 49.
* 50th anniversary year.
* HP listed on four European stock exchanges - London, Zurich, Paris and Frankfurt.
* Acquire Apollo Computer Inc., Chelmsford, Massachusetts, workstation manufacturer.
* HP moves up to No. 39 on Fortune 500 listing.
* Net revenue: $11.9 billion; Employees: 95,000; Products: more than 10,000.
* Introduction of the LaserJet Series III.
* Introduction of the 700 series RISC based workstations, setting new performance standards in the computer industry.
* HP Labs opens a facility in Tokyo Japan.
* Introduction of the 95LX Palm Top Computer.