Hewlett Packard

HP through the Ages.

How the Company was Started

William "Bill" Hewlett and Dave Packard became friends on a week-long camping trip. They had known eachother while they were in Stanford University and later graduated as electrical engineers. After becoming friends they decided that when they got home that they would start a technological company. They rented a garage in Palo Alto, California as their first workshop.
Bill Repelling off a mountain at camp

Early Years

In 1934, Dave and Bill become friends at camp. In 1938, they begin work in a rented garage in Palo Alto, California. Also, in 1938, they make their first product, which is an audio oscillator, for Walt Disney [HP model 200]. In 1939, the company is officially named Hewlett Packard, over a coin toss. Dave won the toss but decided to name the company HP, instead of, PH.

1940 to 1950

  • 1940, HP moves out of the garage and into a rented building.
  • 1941, Bill enters the U.S. army.
  • 1942, HP moves into their own building, they also start a pioneering health insurance plan for all employees
  • 1943, HP enters the microwave field, setting the stage for future leadership in signal generators.
  • 1947, HP incorporates. Dave is president and Bill is vice-president.
  • 1948, Dave joins school board.

1950 to 1960

  • 1951, HP invents the 524A high-speed frequency counter, greatly reducing the time required to measure high frequencies.
  • 1956, HP produces its first oscilloscopes, which will go on to represent a significant part of HP’s test and measurement product line.
  • 1957, HP moves into a new headquarters.
  • 1958, HP’s first acquisition, F. L. Moseley Company, a producer of high-quality graphic recorders, establishes the foundation of HP’s printing business. HP grows and has a gross income of 28 million and has 1,778 employees.
  • 1959, HP goes global.

1960 to 1970

  • 1961, HP is first listed on the New York Stock Exchange on March 1
  • 1962, HP enters the Fortune 500 list at #460.
  • 1964, Dave Packard is elected CEO and chairman. Bill Hewlett is elected president.
  • 1966, HP introduces its first computer, the HP 2116A. The world’s first go-anywhere, do-anything computer, it is designed to withstand environmental extremes.
  • 1968, HP introduces the world’s first desktop scientific calculator, the HP 9100A. It is ten times faster than most machines at solving science and engineering problems. Ads call it a “personal computer.” on the first documented uses of the term.
I could go on for a lot longer, but I got all this information on http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/about-hp/history/hp-timeline/hp-timeline.html and you should really go and check that out.