HP Archival destroyed by fire

HP Archival destroyed by fire

The first HP product, the 200A from the year 1939th

(Image: HP)

Part of the company's Archives of Hewlett Packard destroyed by fire were in Santa Rosa. They were housed in a building that had only a simple sprinkler system.

William Hewlett and David Packard began in 1938 in a garage in California's El Alto with the production of measuring instruments. Thus they laid the foundation stone of the Silicon Valley. Letters and notes of the company founders from this period were the beginning of October victims of the devastating forest fires that raged particularly in the city of Santa Rosa. There, the papers camped at the headquarters of the company Keysight who had taken over in 2014, the division of the instruments of production from the HP subsidiary Agilent. According to the local newspaper The Press Democrat a loss of two million dollars was. The ideal value of HP correspondence relating to the creation of instruments is likely to be higher by a multiple.

Founder correspondence destroyed

The first of William Hewlett and David Packard developed product was an oscillator circuit, which was sold under the product name HP 200A. The success came when the Disney movie theaters ordered a modified version called HP 200B for their cinemas to Tone Calibration. By the year 1956 followed by a number of measuring instruments, which involved more directly to their development and Hewlett Packard. The related correspondence of the two founders, the development of patents and similar material burned in Santa Rosa.


Now is criticism that the archives were insecure. The papers were indeed housed in light-proof documentation boxes, but the two archive building of Keysight were only equipped with a sprinkler system that could delete a swerving in the building fire. Already in 2001 the British archaeologist Christine Finn had in her book "Artifacts" made aware of the catastrophic situation of the various archives in Silicon Valley, which is threatened by forest fires and earthquakes. Even at that time there were many documents and equipment that no longer be found on the history of the Valley.(Detlef Borchers) /(ANW)