Hewlett-Packard Historical Archives Destroyed In Santa Rosa Fires
by Robert Digitale, The Press Democrat
The Press Democrat, SFGATE.com News ISBN/ITEM#: CM171029KEYSIGH
Date: 29 October 2017
What kind of intelligent businesspeople store irreplaceable historically and financially valuable business records in two modular buildings? The answer is the mismanagement of Keysight Technologies, a spinoff of Agilent Technologies, itself an HP spinoff. When the archives were previously in the possession of Hewlett-Packard and then Agilent, they had housed the archives within special vaults inside permanent facilities, complete with foam fire retardant and other safeguards. Apparently Keysight Technologies mismanagement wanted to save money or didn't care about the priceless documents -- or both. In any case, In any case, the Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa's Fountaingrove neighborhood consumed the collected archives of William Hewlett and David Packard.From release/information:
When deadly flames incinerated hundreds of homes in Santa Rosa's Fountaingrove neighborhood earlier this month, they also destroyed irreplaceable papers and correspondence held nearby and once belonging to the founders of Silicon Valley's first technology company, Hewlett-Packard.
The Tubbs fire consumed the collected archives of William Hewlett and David Packard, the tech pioneers who in 1938 formed an electronics company in a Palo Alto garage with $538 in cash.
More than 100 boxes of the two men's writings, correspondence, speeches, and other items were contained in one of two modular buildings that burned to the ground at the Fountaingrove headquarters of Keysight Technologies. Keysight, the world's largest electronics measurement company, traces its roots to HP and acquired the archives in 2014 when its business was split from Agilent Technologies -- itself an HP spinoff.
The Hewlett and Packard collections had been appraised in 2005 at nearly $2 million and were part of a wider company archive valued at $3.3 million. However, those acquainted with the archives and the pioneering company's impact on the technology world said the losses can't be represented by a dollar figure.
"A huge piece of American business history is gone", said Brad Whitworth, who had been an HP international affairs manager with oversight of the archives three decades ago. He said Hewlett-Packard had been at the forefront of an industry "that has radically changed our world".
(Source: The Press Democrat, SFGATE.com)
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