This blog post is about a subject that interests me: Silicon Valley (where I live) and its history.
There are numerous accounts available on the web on the development of Silicon Valley. At its core, it is a story of American ingenuity, playfulness, and entrepreneurial spirit. I have chosen to document below three seminal Valley mileposts that fundamentally altered the world. The work involved bent the arc of human civilization, and that it all happened within an area of a few square miles is astonishing.
The entry of the word “Silicon” into Silicon Valley can be traced back to the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory started in 1956 in Mountain View, California, by William Shockley, the co-inventor of the transistor. Today at the same spot stands the La Fiesta Super Market.
Separated by a few miles and a couple of decades is the house in Palo Alto where William Hewlett and David Packard first got their enterprise going (1939). This garage is considered the birthplace of Silicon Valley.
Within walking distance of the HP garage, at the intersection of Emerson and Channing streets in Palo Alto, is a plaque commemorating the great American inventor Lee De Forest who worked here in 1910 on the world’s first global radio communications system.
Silicon Valley was built “on the shoulders of giants,” and its pioneering tradition endures.