Company History Timeline — 1930s

Following graduation from Stanford University in 1934, electrical engineers Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett went on a two-week camping and fishing trip in the Colorado mountains. On this trip, they discovered strong similarities in their attitudes toward many things and became close friends. After graduation, Bill continued graduate studies at Stanford and MIT while Dave took a job with General Electric in New York state. Within a few years, and with the encouragement of Stanford professor and mentor Fred Terman, the two decided to start a business "and make a run for it."

Garage at 367 Addison Avenue

Their first business location in the Santa Clara Valley is the now iconic garage located at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto. Here they manufacture the company’s first product, the 200A Audio Oscillator. Disney Studios becomes interested in the 200A and orders eight to be used in the production of their movie, Fantasia.


  • Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard begin part-time work in the garage with $538 in working capital.
  • Bill Hewlett’s study of negative feedback results in Hewlett-Packard’s first product—the resistance-capacity audio oscillator (HP200A), an electronic instrument used to test sound equipment. The oscillator uses an incandescent bulb as part of its wiring scheme to provide variable resistance, a breakthrough in stability in oscillator design. The principle of feedback provides the foundation for other early HP products such as a harmonic wave analyzer and several distortion analyzers.200A Audio Oscillator


  • Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard form partnership Jan. 1, 1939; coin toss decides company name.
  • Walt Disney Studios orders eight audio oscillators to test sound equipment in creating the groundbreaking sound system for the movie “Fantasia.”
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