The History of HP
How It All Began
- Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard become friends when they bond over a two-week camping trip.
- Bill and Dave work part-time building devices in a Palo Alto garage.
- With only $538 in capital, they invent the “HP Model 200A”, an oscillator used to test sound equipment.
- The Walt Disney Company buys 8 HP oscillators to prepare movie theaters to screen Fantasia.
- Bill and Dave use a coin toss to decide between “Hewlett-Packard” or “Packard-Hewlett.”
The Early Days
- HP moves into rented facilities in Palo Alto.
- HP establishes a pioneering health care plan for its employees.
- HP utilizes an open floor plan in their office. It provides versatility, but unexpectedly promotes collaboration and creativity. Nowadays, most tech companies utilize open floor plans.
- The business incorporates on August 18.
The Electronics Industry Expands
- HP invents the 524A high-speed frequency counter. These kinds of signal measuring products will earn billions for HP.
- HP goes public, with shares selling for $16.
- The company constructs its first HP-owned building in Stanford Research Park. It’s designed to boost employee comfort and creativity.
- HP goes global and establishes facilities in Switzerland and Germany.
- Space exploration is in full swing, and HP invents a frequency synthesizer that’s used aboard vehicles headed for deep space.
- During HP’s 25th year, the company invents the atomic clock. Capable of coordinating international time to within a millionth of a second, it’s the most accurate clock ever invented.
- HP Laboratories opens. HP Labs conducts research into new technology. The same year it opens, HP Labs invents light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
The Computer Age Begins
- HP develops its first “personal computer,” a scientific calculator called the HP 9100A. Ads for the calculator coin the term, “personal computer.”
- HP introduces the world’s first programmable pocket calculator.
- Journalists coin the term “Silicon Valley” to describe the cluster of thriving tech companies in Santa Clara County.
HP Makes Technology Accessible
- HP produces its first PC, the HP-85. It has intuitive peripherals and can even communicate with other computers.
- The HP-150 Touchscreen PC is introduced, which allows users to navigate the interface by touching the screen.
- The first HP LaserJet is released and quickly becomes the world’s most popular laser printer.
- HP creates an affordable color printer with the HP DeskJet 500C.
- HP builds the first all-in-one office device, the HP OfficeJet. It can print, fax, and copy.
A New Millennium
- Intel and HP team up to develop Itanium architecture, which advances computers from 32 to 64 bits.
- An image-compression algorithm developed by HP Labs is used by NASA to create high-resolution images of Mars transmitted by NASA’s Spirit Rover.
- HP achieves its goal of recycling 1 billion pounds of hardware.
- The original HP garage in Palo Alto is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as “The Birthplace of Silicon Valley.”
- HP introduces the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web. It’s the world’s first web-connected printer.
- The HP Jet Fusion debuts, HP’s first 3D printer.
- HP debuts a sophisticated 3D metal printer, the HP Metal Jet.
Today and Beyond
- HP celebrates its 80th birthday!