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William Hewlett 1913 - 2001

William Hewlett invented a variable frequency oscillation generator.


William Hewlett's Oscillator

William Hewlett's Oscillator - Patent Drawing 2,268,872

William Hewlett and David Packard founded an electronics company called Hewlett-Packard. The company's first product was an audio oscillator invented by William Hewlett named the HP model 200A.

What Is An Audio Oscillator?

An audio oscillator is an electronic instrument used to test sound equipment. The HP model 200A was a resistance-capacitance audio oscillator that represented a significant advancement in oscillator technology at the time. The Hewlett-Packard oscillator used an incandescent bulb as part of the wiring scheme to provide variable resistance.

Who Were William Hewlett and David Packard?

William Hewlett and David Packard were undergraduate engineering students at Stanford University when they first met. They formed the Hewlett-Packard Company in 1939 and their first product was the audio oscillator invented by William Hewlett in 1938.

David Packard thought up the name "HP Model 200A" to make the company appear more established. Hewlett-Packard, now famous world-wide, started out of William Hewlett's garage in Palo Alto with a capital investment of $538 and a Sears-Roebuck drill press.


Hewlett-Packard's First Famous Customer

In 1940, the Walt Disney Company ordered eight Model 200B oscillators and used the equipment to test the various channels, recording equipment and speaker systems in the twelve specially-equipped theaters that showed the Disney film Fantasia.

William Hewlett was granted United States patent 2,268,872 for his oscillator on January 6, 1942.

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