Tales from the Next Bench: HP’s Archives

hparchive When HP started out, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard took on all sorts of odd contract jobs—Harmonica tuners, automatic toilet flush sensors for Stanford…but one of the first tech support calls that Packard made for the company – about 70 years ago – was for a bowling alley. The foul line indicator Hewlett and Packard created wasn’t working properly. But there was Dave, sleeves rolled up, troubleshooting. Why “The Next Bench,” you ask? When Bill and Dave were back in the garage days, they built devices useful for the guy next to you on the workbench. Or, to be more accurate, if the guy on the next bench wanted the product you were working on, chances are that it would be a success.

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