The HP Memory Project that you see today is the result of 15 years of concentrated work on the preservation of Hewlett Packard's industrial success story, and on the memory of the people who generated this success.
Hewlett Packard's success is the result of the exceptional creativity of HP design engineers. Preserving the products they invented is one necessary part of this project. Preserving their memories and stories of invention will create a treasure from the human, historical and technical points of view. Preserving the documents they published during their work is another treasure for future education.
The combination of all these elements make the HP Memory Project, one of the most historically significant HP archives. It is a tribute and showcase for the company's history of innovation, and is truly representative of America's finest hour. It deserves a special place to honor and remember the countless individual innovative contributions that built this organization.
Today, the HP Product collection has reached approximately 600 instruments, plus 150 computers and peripherals.
While building this collection, the guiding rule was to acquire the most significant products which best illustrate the influence they had on the evolution of electronic and computing technology over 60 years.
A large portion of the equipment collection was acquired during the early 2000s, taking advantage of the huge surplus generated by companies converting from analog to digital instrumentation. Some vintage HP instruments were also found during this period, but they were rarely the most significant products. Most of the HP masterpieces had already become hard to find by the beginning of the new century. Populating the collection with one of each key product was a ten year search, mostly on ebay. Some pivotal products required an even longer wait, and sometimes lots of money.
Today the result is a collection that includes almost every key product which contributed to the HP industrial success story. A number of these products are frequently symbolic of an important technology evolution milestone. Consequently, these products could be used in an exhibition of a 60-year timeline of the Hewlett Packard contribution to technology evolution.
Such an exhibition could be envisioned in many different ways. The next chapter, "Exhibiting 60 years of Science and Technology Contributions," will develop some of our thoughts on trying to accomplish that objective with a physical presence, at some significant location.
Every item listed in the collection database below is, in perfect condition, ready for an exhibition. Most are in working condition. This would allow an exhibition that is not just limited to their display, but could also permit a live demonstration of their capabilities.
Anyone can get an accurate idea of the overall quality of the collection by browsing this website. A full 95% of the instrument and computer pictures are original photographs by the author, and represent the actual collection. The most important places to visit for an overview of the collection's products are the [ 1939-1960 ] and [ 1960-1980 ] "Quick-Tour" selector pages. (The 1980-2000 pages are under construction.)
Even a quick visit can give you an idea of the collection's breadth, by just looking at the following five "extremes" from the collection:
Except for some recent Agilent instruments, and some recent HP computers and peripherals, the collection timeline stops at the HP / Agilent split in the year 2000. But it could easily be continued if the project were to be hosted by one or both of these companies.
The HP Instruments Collection
The Instrument Collection Database is up to date, and a detailed classification by product line, is available in the [COLLECTION] chapter of this website.
The link immediately below gives you "live" access to the key information in the complete Instrument Database.
The HP Computers and Peripherals Collection
The Computer Hardware Collection database is up to date, and a detailed classification, by product line, is available here on the website. Peripherals and Software are not yet classified or indexed, but most of the original software is available for each computer in the collection. For example, every HP-UX release from 2.0 up to 11.i is available on their original media, and includes their original documentation. This software comprises a good 450 lbs. of paper to describe the HP-UX operating system alone.
The link below gives "live" access to the major information in the Computer Hardware Database.
Below is a short-form inventory of the most significant documents available in the collection
DO IT WELL, AND SHOW IT!
The World Wide Web was the ideal showcase for the Project.
Our prime objective has been to raise the overall HP Memory Project website quality to that which does justice to the HP story.
Another important objective of the website has been to make contact with other curators of Hewlett Packard history, and to collect their personal memories, written in their own words. With the help of John Minck this objective has had great success since the second half of 2011. Today, after two years of hard work and close collaboration with John Minck, twelve in-depth memories from former HP employees are online in the [TIMELINE] - [HP Memories] chapters.
www.hpmemory.org was opened on October 2006. It is today the result of more than 10,000 hours of work, containing 1150 HTML pages, and 4800 pictures. A search facility has been implemented on the website as of May, 2012. At the time of installation, indexing the website generated a 22,000 keyword database. It can be tested using the search box below:
Overall Website Statistics
The best indicator of our vision's success is the remarkable statistics on reader visits to the website, which have grown during the past five years, and are shown on the bar graph chart below.
The following pie chart illustrates the most active countries during 2010.
Detailed Website Statistics
More detailed, monthly statistic pages have been accumulated, starting September 2011. These pages are intended for restricted access to key personnel, and are not linked from anywhere else on the website.
Cross promotion of the HP Memory Project and Website from various publications
Two years after its rollout, the website began to get some excellent recognition from other publications, websites and blogs. The links below give access to several of the most effective ones.
The HP Alumni Association, HPAA, website gives continual promotion to its 20,000+ members
Sometimes, the publication of a new chapter dedicated to the story of an important personality in HP history generates astounding results in the Google rankings. This was the case in February 2010, after publishing John Minck's tribute for the tenth anniversary of the passing of Bill Hewlett. Google ranked hpmemory.org at the fourth place on the "Bill Hewlett" keyword search.
Appreciation from people who made the Hewlett Packard success story what it is:
By far the most gratifying result of our website activity, came from some celebrities who themselves made the Hewlett Packard success story what it was.
John and Marc,
I was really impressed by Hank Taylor's story. On reflection, I am even more struck by how valuable it is for the whole community that you are providing this vehicle for stories to be gathered and shared. It is an immense contribution, and I for one am incredibly impressed by both how much work you've done to get it up and running, and how terrific the stories are that are being collected and presented.