The HP 150A Oscilloscope,
A Vintage Symbol of the HP Entry into the Oscilloscope Business
The beginning of oscilloscope production at HP was marked a change in the overall company philosophy.
In 1955, sixteen years after the company's birth, the Hewlett-Packard catalog listed nearly 250 measuring instruments of every type except one -- the oscilloscope!
At the time, Tektronix oscilloscopes were top of the line and the Tektronix Company had built an enviable reputation for superb quality and reliability. The focus at HP was on the dramatic opportunities in the communications business and Bill and Dave's philosophy was not to build a "me-too" product, however they finally approved a modest oscilloscope development program at HP.
The first two products were the HP 130A and 150A. The 130A was a slick DC to 300 kcs low-frequency scope that filled a niche that Tektronix didn't occupy and the 150A was a 10 Mcs, dual channel plug-in design, which at that time was deemed general purpose.