HP Garage

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Hewlett Packard House and Garage
HP garage front.JPG
The HP garage in March 2009
HP Garage is located in California
HP Garage
HP Garage is located in the US
HP Garage
Location 367 Addison Avenue,
Palo Alto, California
Coordinates 37°26′35″N 122°09′17″W / 37.44307°N 122.15481°W / 37.44307; -122.15481Coordinates: 37°26′35″N 122°09′17″W / 37.44307°N 122.15481°W / 37.44307; -122.15481
Area less than one acre
Built pre 1938
Architectural style Bungalow/Craftsman
NRHP reference # 07000307[1]
CHISL # 976[2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 20, 2007
Designated CHISL 1987

The HP Garage is a private museum where the company Hewlett-Packard (HP) was founded. It is located at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, California.[3] It is considered to be the "Birthplace of Silicon Valley."[4] In the 1930s, Stanford University and its Dean of Engineering Frederick Terman began encouraging faculty and graduates to stay in the area instead of leaving California, and develop a high-tech region.[5] HP founders William Hewlett and David Packard are considered the first Stanford students who took Terman's advice.[2]

The garage has since been designated California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Though not open for public tours, the property can be viewed from the sidewalk and driveway.


The home, originally designated as 367 Addison Avenue, was first occupied in 1905 by Dr. John Spencer, his wife Ione, and their two adult daughters. Dr. Spencer became Palo Alto's first mayor in 1909.[6] In 1918, the house was divided into two separate apartments, numbered 367 and 369.[7]

In 1937, David "Dave" Packard, then 25 years old, visited William "Bill" Hewlett in Palo Alto and the pair had their first business meeting. Both men attended Stanford University, where its Dean of Engineering Frederick Terman encouraged his students to establish their own electronics companies in the area instead of leaving California.[2]

In 1938, newly married Dave and Lucile Packard moved into 367 Addison Ave, the first-floor three-room apartment, with Bill Hewlett sleeping in the shed. Mrs. Spencer, now widowed, moved into the second-floor apartment, 369 Addison. Hewlett and Packard began to use the one-car garage, with $538 in capital.

In 1939, Hewlett and Packard formed their partnership with a coin toss, creating the name Hewlett-Packard.

Hewlett-Packard's first product, built in the garage, was an audio oscillator, the HP200A.[8] One of Hewlett-Packard's first customers was Walt Disney Studios,[9] which purchased eight oscillators to test and certify the sound systems in theaters that were going to run the first major film released in stereophonic sound, Fantasia.[10]

Historical designations[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c "Birthplace of Silicon Valley". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  3. ^ The street lent its name to Hewlett-Packard's employee credit union, known until 2010 as "Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union". The name changed in 2011 to "First Tech Federal Credit Union" after a merger with First Tech Credit Union.
  4. ^ "HP Feature Stories". www.hp.com. Retrieved 2018-04-13. 
  5. ^ Markoff, John (April 17, 2009). "Searching for Silicon Valley". The New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ HP Garage Timeline
  7. ^ "HP Garage" (PDF). Hewlett-Packard. 
  8. ^ about HP
  9. ^ "HP Virtual Museum: Model 200B audio oscillator, 1939". www.hp.com. Retrieved 2018-04-13. 
  10. ^ Darlin, Damon (December 4, 2005). "Shrine to Hours of Tinkering in a Garage on the Ground Floor of Silicon Valley". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ a b Poletti, Therese, HP garage named U.S. landmark: Property Where HP Was Founded Now Listed On U.S. Historic Registry, San Jose Mercury-News, May 18, 2007

External links[edit]