Company History Timeline — 1960s

The test and measurement field continues its steady growth. The company branches out into related fields such as medical electronics and analytical instrumentation, and begins to be noticed as a progressive, well-managed company and a great place to work. This decade also sees the introduction of several innovative products including the Cesium Beam “Atomic” Clock and the first product to provide the company with over 1 million dollars per month, the 8551 Spectrum Analyzer.

Joint Venture with Yokogawa Electric Works


  • New oscilloscope design is the first to use a new sampling technique to view the faster digital waveforms used in computer technology.
  • Company establishes first U.S. manufacturing plant outside of Palo Alto in Loveland, Colorado.


  • Company enters medical field with purchase of Sanborn Company, Waltham, Massachusetts.
  • Lists on New York Stock Exchange.


  • HP's first listing on Fortune magazine’s list of the top 500 U.S. companies: No. 460.


  • First joint venture is formed (with Yokogawa Electric Works): Yokogawa Hewlett-Packard in Tokyo, Japan.
  • First synthesizer to generate electrical signal at a precise frequency desired becomes a major contribution to automated testing.

5060A Cesium Beam Time Standard


  • Company celebrates 25th anniversary.
  • Dave Packard elected chairman; Bill Hewlett elected president.
  • Highly accurate HP 5060A cesium-beam time standard is introduced.
  • Microwave spectrum analyzer is the first to make direct reading, calibrated analysis of individual signals within a frequency band.


  • HP enters the analytical instrumentation field with the acquisition of F&M Scientific Corporation, Avondale, Pennsylvania.
  • Net Revenue: $165 million; Employees: 9,000.


  • HP Laboratories is formed, which would eventually become Agilent Labs. The company’s central research facility is one of the world’s leading electronics industry research centers.
  • HP 2116A, the company’s first computer, is designed as a controller for test and measurement instruments.
  • First all-solid-state component oscillator is introduced. Its small size, light weight and large screen make it easy to use in lab, field or production work.
  • Company develops breakthrough GaAsP (gallium-arsenide-phosphide) light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which would prove useful in many applications, including alphanumeric displays for handheld devices and, eventually, stoplights and signage.


  • Boeblingen facility introduces a non-invasive fetal heart monitor that detects fetal distress during labor.
  • Boeblingen plant also pioneers the concept of flexible working hours, an idea adopted at HP and Agilent manufacturing facilities around the world.
  • Company engineers fly to 18 countries, with the atomic clocks they have developed, to synchronize international time standards. Eventually, the cesium-beam standard becomes the standard for international time.


  • Dave Packard appointed U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense (serves from 1969-71).
  • First robotic sample injector for chromatography allows samples to be analyzed while system is unattended.

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