More than Sand ...

Let's take a look at Silicon Valley, or, as it was once known: The valley of hearts delight. Today a hotbed of hi-tech this was once known as the Valley of Hearts delight or the fruit-bowl of the america's.

There’s more than Sand in Silicon Valley

A history if Silicon Valley, without (most of) the Silicon.

The San Francisco bay area and its surrounds have always been a hotbed of innovation and technology. Even before the ‘valley of hearts’ delight became known in the 70’s as ‘silicon valley’ a number of new technologies were pioneered here. Some of these remarkable events go as far back as the turn of the 20th century.

In this article we’ll take you on a trip through history and highlight some interesting developments, many of which still have remnants today, in and around Silicon Valley. Some of these go far beyond mere ‘sand’. That is, the sand of which semiconductors are made.

The early years

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Levi Strauss


Levi Strauss arrives in San Francisco in the middle of the gold rush and sets up a wholesale dry goods business to supply the fortyniners with supplies for their mining operations. 

In 1870 Jacob Davis starts making strong pants for the miners using materials bought from Levi Strauss stores. …

Turn of the Century



Lee DeForest

Lee deForest (1873-1961) further develops the basic electron-valve made by Ambrose Fleming by adding a grid to it. This grid effectively controls the flow of electrons through the valve. A signal applied to this grid effectively allows the current through the valve to be controlled, thus creating the first amplifier element. …



Model 200 Oscillator


William Hewlett and David Packard graduate from Stanford University and decided to start their own test equipment company. Spurred on by a grant from Frederic Terman, professor at Stanford University, they set up shop in one of their parent’s garage in Palo Alto.

Space and Diskdrives



The Ames Research centre is founded as a laboratory for aeronautics applications in Sunnyvale. Initially under the control of National Advisory Committee of Aviation (NACA0 it moved to the National Aeronautics and space Administration (NASA) in 1958. …

© Vincent Himpe 2016