Other Web Sites Related to HP History
updated Sept. 30, 2007

The links listed below are to other web sites related to HP History.  Some of the web links are moving targets. I check these from time to time and find some of them dead only because of a subtle change in the URL when a website was reorganized.

Here are some direct internal links to the HP web site

Historical facts and online museum This sub page on the HP web site is a must visit! There are lots of pictures, facts, and stories of vintage equipment and company history. Plan on spending some time here as there is a lot to see. I hope this site will be expanded to include more classic vintage equipment as the site only displays a tiny fraction of what was made.

One sub page is devoted to the history of the HP200A and has quite a bit of information I have not seen anywhere else. The page was posted in Jan. 2002 which was the 60th anniversary year of the patent William Hewlett received for the audio oscillator in 1942.  This particular oscillator is supposedly the first one Bill assembled for his master's thesis at Stanford.  That unit would have been for demonstration and not for production.  There are several interesting things to note about it:

The last paragraph has a subtle error concerning the HP200CD (the best known of all the HP oscillators) as a replacement for the HP200A.  The HP200AB was the direct replacement for the HP200A and HP200B in 1952 (not 1953) and was an improved version covering the combined frequency span from 20 Hz to 40 kHz and could deliver about one watt of power to a 600 ohm load. Similarly, the HP200CD replaced the HP200C and HP200D also in 1952 but with an improvement in the output power -- approximately one watt as compared to only about 100 milliwatts for the C and D units and also a much  wider frequency range. The HP200CD had a frequency range from 5 Hz to 600 kHz as compared to the 7 Hz to 200 kHz covered by the C and D units. The HP200CD (designed by Barney Oliver) achieved the wide frequency range by using a push-pull version of the Hewlett design and also used two output transformers -- one for low frequency and one for high frequency.  With its frequency range wider than covered by the A, B, C, and D units the HP200CD effectively replaced them all. The HP200AB was last listed in the HP1975 catalog. The HP200CD was last listed in the HP1985 catalog. This 33 year run of a product is truly remarkable. All of these oscillators were based on same concept developed by Mr. Hewlett in the late 1930s. They were all built with vacuum tubes and used a lamp filament as the amplitude stabilizing element. So an HP200CD of 1985, the last HP oscillator based on vacuum tubes and to use a lamp filament for amplitude regulation, is very closely related to the original HP200A of 1939. The total manufacturing run of this concept then extends from 1939 to 1985, or 46 years!
Here are some direct internal links to the Agilent web site

Bill Hewlett biography

Dave Packard biography

Company time line

Agilent Technologies and Communications: Six Decades of Measurement Solutions This is an excellent 35 page article about many of the classic pieces of equipment developed at HP. It has a lot of history and is required reading. There are a few errors that should be noted as follows. I was not looking for errors but these stood out to me as I am familiar with these.

  1. The opening picture showing David Packard (standing) and William Hewlett (with slide rule) in the garage is mirror imaged. Proof that the picture is mirrored is obvious by looking at the audio oscillators and noting that the output jacks appear on the left instead of their correct place on the right. The same picture on the HP site above is correct.
  2. On page 18 the upper frequency limit of the HP500A frequency meter should be 50 kHz instead of 100 kHz. I own an HP500A and am quite familiar with it.
  3. On page 20 the model number of the VHF generator in the picture should be HP8640B. This is a simple transposition error in the caption. I own one of these units so I am quite familiar with it.
  4. On page 22 the year HP entered the oscilloscope market should be 1956 instead of 1958 (product development actually began in 1955). The March, 1956 (Volume 7, #7) issue of the Hewlett-Packard Journal describes the introduction of the HP130A oscilloscope which had a 300 kHz bandwidth. The April, 1956 (Volume 7, #8) issue of the Hewlett-Packard Journal describes the introduction of the HP150A oscilloscope which had a 10 MHz bandwidth.
  5. On page 28 the description of the HP4815A impedance meter should show an upper frequency limit of 108 MHz instead of 500 MHz. I own an HP4815A and am quite familiar with it.

Other web sites with a variety of information:  Some of these are deep links and others may only be available temporarily. If the web page is not found, try backing up by deleting pages from the end until you connect to something. A reorganization of the web site may have changed the address.

http://www.slack.com/elec.html  This is an excellent site of general interest concerning electronic test equipment.  It is a site of many links to other online museums of test equipment, online test equipment manuals, application notes and other related information.  In addition to information on HP equipment there are links for Tektronix, Fluke, General Radio, and others.

http://www.antiqueairwaves.com/ This is a great site if you are looking for information about old radios and electronics.  There are numerous links here to just about everything involving old electronics.  You could spend hours looking at all this stuff.  A related site by the same owner is http://www.stevenjohnson.com/ and you can find even more information including schematic diagrams, etc.

http://www.philbrickarchive.org/  "This site is a free non-profit repository of materials from GAP/R George A. Philbrick Researches, the company that launched the commercial use of the Operational Amplifier in 1952." (quoted from the site) 

http://home.comcast.net/~cbmcg/Panadaptors.html   This site has some very interesting history about the very first spectrum analyzers ever made.  The company that made them beginning in the 1930s was the Panoramic Radio Corporation.  This is some very rare history that all should see.


http://www.jvgavila.com This is a site in Spain and features a personal museum and information about HP and a variety of other equipment manufactures.

http://www.garagenouszone.com/home.asp?page=famous_garages  This link has pictures and stories of famous garages including Bill and Dave's.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=5789  This article is about the move to use just HP instead of Hewlett-Packard after the Agilent spin-off.

A few articles concerning the HP-Compaq merger

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2001/11/19/hpmerge.DTL  An interesting article written during the controversy over the Compaq merger.  I voted my HP shares against the merger as it made no sense to me.  I had owned Compaq stock for many years and dumped them at a huge profit in 1999 when it looked that Compaq had no place to go but down.  I was right.

http://www.forbes.com/2002/02/14/0214malone.html  This is a very good article by Michael S. Malone concerning the HP Compaq merger.  Click on the skip the welcome screen in the upper right.

An obscure application of the Wein bridge oscillator

The following two links are an interesting history of the late 1930s concerning an application of the lamp stabilized Wein bridge oscillator.  The author tries to make a case that there was a possible association between Mr. Hewlett and an individual named Mr. Beam Ray. There are a number of historical connections that if true are quite interesting.  The application of the electrotherapy machine discussed in the two articles is a bit on the bizarre by today's standards but people actually believed in this at that time.

Links to other web pages on this site

http://www.kennethkuhn.com/hpmuseum This link takes you to the main HP Museum page.

http://www.kennethkuhn.com This link takes you to the main page of my personal web site where you can access a variety of information.