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Monday March 24, 2008 10:00 am

HP Garage photo tour


Another view of HP Garage entrance

We had the honor of getting invited to tour the Garage, considered almost universally to be the “birthplace of Silicon Valley.” In a nutshell, the HP Garage is a literal 12’ x 18’ wooden garage. This is where Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett founded the Hewlett-Packard company, way back when in 1939. Yes, even HP was a struggling, bootstrapped startup.

The Gear Live crew, along with Xavier from Notebooks.com, Michael from Hardware Geeks, and Rob from Windows Now, got a fantastic history lesson from HP Archivist Anna Mancini. If you are a geek like we are, you would have had a blast hearing all the interesting tidbits that Anna shared. For example, did you know that the company name was decided by the flip of a coin? Had the coin landed different, the company would have instead been named Packard-Hewlett, and would no doubt have been nowhere near successful. That’s how those things work, right?

Another interesting fact is that the bread and butter of HP was their line of audio oscillators, which they actually made by hand. They even baked the metal slabs in their kitchen oven. Way to save cash, eh? After Disney ordered eight of them to use in conjunction with the release of Fantasia, HP was well on its way to the big time.

We’ve put together an HP Garage tour photo gallery, featuring a good 26 images that Xavier Lanier graciously hooked us up with. Check it out for a fantastic glimpse into the history of consumer electronics.


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Gallery: HP Garage photo tour

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