Hewlett-Packard History: Innovative and Enduring Technology

Hewlett-Packard History: Innovative and Enduring Technology

Posted by Team Recompute on 8th Sep 2020

Hewlett-Packard history starts on the first day of the year in 1939. The two classmates turned friends then began down the road in one of their backyards towards becoming one of the biggest computer giants in the world.

Here's a quick rundown on one of the world's most trusted electronics brands.

How HP Started

Coming right off the great depression, Hewlett and Packard decided in class one day that if they could not find jobs after graduation, then they would start their own business. While both did have fellowships and jobs afterward, this did not stop them from coming together again.

Developing oscillators before anything else, they finally found their big break with Walt Disney Studios ordering 8 of their "HP" 200B audio oscillators. The HP history starts progressing fast and by 1942, only a few years after starting, they already had an entire plant in Palo Alto.

The Wars

When the company had just seemed to start, Hewlett was drafted into the Army at the height of World War II. Packard was left to stay behind to help with military applications, allowing for military contracts to flood in.

Even after the end of WWII, just a few years later in the 1950s, HP was back to working military contracts during the Korean War. This time with Hewlett in charge of research and development. Packard decided to stay focused on the companies business model.

Going Public and Creating Profit Sharing

Hewlett-Packard decided to go public in 1957 to help raise capital in its new adventure, company acquisition. The goal was to expand its electronic technology offerings.

This increase in profit and capital help HP decide to implement profit sharing for their employees. A practice that would follow in modern-day Silicon Valley.

Technology Kicks Off

HP then started a series of releasing state of the art instruments for both businesses and consumers. In 1966, they create their very first computer, designed for lab tests and measuring instruments accurately without human error. By 1972, they were already advanced enough to introduce the world's first pocket-sized calculator.

A now well-known individual, Steve Wozniak, who was interning at HP at the time, created the prototype for the first personal computer (PC). Hewlett-Packard was not interested at the time and gave all rights to Steve. He later paired up with Steve Jobs to create Apple.

The Rise of the Personal Computer

By the 1980s, HP had realized their mistake and started on their adventure towards creating their first desktop computer. It failed miserably thanks to the lack of IBM support. They also released the first touchscreen support desktop, which also failed.

The first decade of computers was so bad, that in the 1990s, Packard had to come out of retirement to fix things. The goal was to provide computers and computer accessories at low enough costs that people would have no choice but to buy. And it worked, becoming one of the top three computer manufacturers worldwide.

The Hewlett-Packard History Will Keep Going

The Hewlett-Packard history will not be stopping anytime soon. HP computers are one of the most well-known computers to date. It is very rare to not have owned at least one of their PC's at one point in any person's life.

If you want to continue to make history with HP, check out our selection of HP computers. From laptops to dual monitor setups, we have a wide selection to choose from. Be sure to check out our other blogs on the history of computer companies.