Company History, the sixties

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A Decade of Steady Growth

The 1960 decade is presented by the following paragraph in the MEASURE Magazine "Wrapping it Up" issue:

"For HP, it was a decade of steady growth in the test and measurement field and expansion into the medical and analytical fields. Popular products included the microwave spectrum analyzer, a non-invasive fetal heart monitor, HP's first computer (HP 2116A) and the world's first programmable scientific desktop calculator (HP 9100A). As the company grew, it became more and more decentralized. By 1968, HP adopted a group structure that combined, organizationally, divisions with related product lines and markets into a group headed by a group manager with a small staff.
HP began to attract notice as a progressive, well-run company and a great place to work. In 1962, HP made its first appearance, at No. 460, on the Fortune 500 list."

In 1960 net sales were $60.2 million, employment was 3,500. Whereas in 1970 net sales were $352 million and employment 16,000. The company growth clearly illustrated by the employees evolution bar chart below:

HP Company Data from "The HP Phenomenon"


Photo Courtesy of NASA

First Moon Walk


Space conquest and the first moon landing was, without question, a considerable power booster for American technology evolution during the 1960s.

Among the many instruments developed by HP which made a contribution to this nationwide project, four of them appeared in "Industrial Research" magazine under the heading "100 Most Significant Products of 1966." They are: The 141A variable persistence oscilloscope, the 12.4 GHz delayed-sweep sampling scope, the 8405A vector voltmeter and standard resistors.





HP and the Space Conquest

Here is a review of some articles published by the Hewlett Packard Company during that remarkable period of the space conquest. They all reflect the many contributions made by the HP products for the success of this great accomplishment.

MEASURE Magazine May 1969 - Courtesy of the Hewlett Packard Company



Some Key Dates of the 1960s HP History:


Photo Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company

1961 - HP Common Stock
first listed on the "big board"

HP was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March, 17, 1961.

Side photo shows Dave Packard (left) and New York Stock Exchange President G. Keith Funston talking to a stock specialist.




Central station in intensive care medical unit with Sanborn/Dymec
data acquisition system. Installation shown is at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York.
Photo from Hewlett-Packard Journal, June, 1967, page 11.
Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company

1961 - Growth by Acquisition:


In 1961 HP entered the medical field through the acquisition of the Sanborn Company which was the largest firm acquired in the 1960s. Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, Sanborn had 950 employees and annual sales of more than $16 million.

Sanborn produced electrocardiographs and other test and measurement instruments used by the medical profession.




Bill Hewlett at a Yokogawa Hewlett-Packard event in 1973
Photo Dump from "ORIGINS" Video

1963 - Yokogawa Hewlett-Packard


HP entered the Asian markets in the 60s, forming its first joint venture with Yokogawa Electric Works, which became known as Yokogawa Hewlett-Packard in 1963.

The Yokogawa Hewlett-Packard division (YHP) was the component test instrumentation specialist for HP. YHP produced many leading instruments like the 4260A in 1966, the first universal impedance bridge with semi-automatic tuning. The 4342A, "Q Meter" introduced in 1970 is still today a highly valuable instrument in a RF lab. These two instruments are just early samples of the many others that came later. Information about these instruments will be found soon in the "Component Test" chapter of this Quick Tour.



Entrance of HP the Labs today

1966 - HP Labs


HP Labs was formed in 1966 under the direction of Barney Oliver. Its original objective was fundamental research in the four major business sections: electronics, solid state physics, physical electronics, and medical and chemical electronics instruments research.

By late 1967, one year after its creation, HP Labs had 207 employees working on 75 different projects with 18% of HP's total R&D budget.

Hewlett and Packard formed the HP Labs to perform research on product lines and business sectors which were not covered by the many product divisions. It was their intention to launch new products such as the HP-35 hand calculator which didn't belong in any operating division of the time.


1967 - Flexible Work Hours

On the human side of the company story, here is an interesting fact to be noted as another add-on to the "HP Way" of management. In 1967, HP was the first U.S. company to institute flexible work hours at the Böblingen, Germany, plant which allowed employees to arrive early or late at work as long as they worked a standard number of hours each day.
Dave Packard wrote in "The HP Way", "To my mind, flextime is the essence of respect for and trust in people. It says that we both appreciate that our people have busy personal lives and that we trust them to devise, with their supervisor and work group, a schedule that is personally convenient yet fair to others."


Wm. R. Hewlett (right) shows France's President Charles De Gaulle (center)
planned floor arrangement for new -hp- factory building under construction.
Hewlett-Packard Journal APRIL-JUNE, 1960 - Page 3
Courtesy of Hewlett Packard Company

Just a Little French Wink

From the Hewlett-Packard Journal APRIL-JUNE, 1960 - Page 3. The photo on the left and the short comment below reported the French President, Charles De Gaulle visit to Palo Alto.


"The Hewlett-Packard plant was a special point of interest for France's President Charles De Gaulle on his recent tour of the U. S. The -hp-plant, together with its location, the well-known Stanford Industrial Park, were visited by President De Gaulle as examples of leading present-day concepts relating the design of industrial plants and industrial areas.
President De Gaulle and his party were conducted on the tour of the -hp- plant and laboratories by -hp-Executive Vice - President Wm. R. Hewlett."



Another View of President De Gaulle and his party conducted on the tour of the -hp- plant and laboratories
by -hp-Executive Vice - President Wm. R. Hewlett.
Courtesy of the Hewlett Packard company


Another View of President De Gaulle and his party conducted on the tour of the -hp- plant and laboratories
by -hp-Executive Vice - President Wm. R. Hewlett.
Courtesy of the Hewlett Packard company


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