Company History Timeline — 1940s

Test and measurement products win widespread acceptance among engineers and scientists. The start of World War II turns a trickle of U.S. government orders for electronic instruments into a stream and then a flood. New products are added and HP builds its first corporate headquarters, manufacturing plants and research-and-development facilities. This increased production requires them to leave the garage for larger facilities. By 1942 their operations move to the first company-owned building located at 395 Page Mill Road. This building, with its distinctive redwood siding, becomes known as the Redwood Building.

Rental Building on Page Mill Road


  • Production moves from garage to rented building at Page Mill Road and El Camino Real in Palo Alto.
  • The company gives its first bonus to employees, a $5 Christmas bonus. This later becomes a production bonus and—later still—company-wide profit-sharing plan.
  • Net Revenue: $34,000; Employees: 3; Products: 8.


  • Construction of first company-owned building, a 10,000-square foot office/laboratory/factory (Redwood Building) at 395 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, Calif. Bill and Dave designed it as an open system—without interior walls—so the space could be flexible.
  • Dave Packard designs a voltmeter that gives unprecedented reliability at a lower price than the competition.Redwood Building


  • Company enters the microwave field with signal generators developed for the Naval Research Laboratory and a radar-jamming device. A complete line of microwave test products follows World War II, and the company becomes the acknowledged leader in signal generators.
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