William Redington Hewlett and David Packard were two students at Stanford University who took full advantage of their youth’s enthusiasm. With a fresh degree in electrical engineering and no grand budget, they opened a company in a garage. In just a few years, their partnership became known as the Hewlett Packard organization. Thanks to their groundbreaking work with semiconductor devices, they are considered the unofficial founders of today’s Silicon Valley tech hub.
However, this significant piece of history of the tech world might be lost forever. The recent wildfires in Santa Rosa engulfed the archive of HP in scorching flames leading to its total destruction.
The Burnt Archives Consisted of Correspondence, Speeches, and Writings Created in 79 Years from HP’s Inauguration
In today’s world, HP is worth multi-billion dollars. It holds the title of the biggest manufacturer of personal computers in the world. HP was present even at the inception of machine learning technology.
The company has one of the most fascinating success stories. The two founders started off from a Palo Alto garage with only $538 in their pockets.
On October 29, the wildfires laid siege to HP’s files in Santa Rosa. The event concluded with the loss of physical testaments of the glorious period for Hewlett Packard. Nonetheless, the archive was one of the numerous victims of the phenomenon. The blazing rage destroyed 6,800 households throughout Northern California’s wine country and killed 23 locals.
The Tubbs fire turned 100 boxes of HP documents into ash. These folders consisted of speeches, letters, and writings of Hewlett and Packard. Keysight Technologies, an electronics measurement company, housed these assets in their stores.
The Santa Rosa Wildfires Annihilated Important Evidence for the History of Silicon Valley
The archives were extremely valuable within the tech industry. In 2014, they were worth $2 million when the Keysight Technologies acquired them. Such a burnt page in the history of the American business might prove a hurdle for historians to document the amazing phenomenon that changed the face of the Silicon Valley.
Harvard Business School professor, Geoffrey Jones, claimed that this tragedy might lead to dire consequences for the national consciousness. The wildfires created a gap in the history of Silicon Valley. Therefore, specialists might create influential theories based on wrong perceptions of the past.
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