What are the historical shrines of Silicon Valley?


The answers to this question make a great tour of Silicon Valley history. I added my own answer: the historic bronze plaque commemorating Bob Noyce’s invention of the integrated circuit. It is outside the front of the old Fairchild Semiconductor building, at the corner of Ararstradero Road and Charleston Road, and is almost completely forgotten. Probably the most important invention in our generation. Like so much of Silicon Valley, it is very difficult to easily visit the most important sites or get any sense of their significance. But this list is very good.

The historical significance of some of these places will be instantly obvious, others less so. They are all important, so it’s your homework assignment.

i.e. the places of great historical significance to the technology industry … HP Garage, Googleplex, Shockley Semiconductor office, etc.

The Top 20 to my mindonScaruffi’s list include these (using his words here):

  1. Stanford’s building 50, where the Physics Dept was (1891),
    next to the Memorial Church in the “quadrangle”
  2. Stanford’s “Engineering Corner”, where Fred
    Terman used to work (1902)

  3. The site where in 1909 Charles Herrold established the
    first radio broadcasting station in the world: Fairmont Tower, 50 W. San
    Fernando St & First St, San Jose
  4. The site of the laboratory and factory of Federal
    Telegraph Company (1911), where Lee de Forest worked: 913 Emerson St &
    Channing Ave, Palo Alto
  5. Philo Farnsworth’s laboratory (1927), where television was
    invented: 202 Green Street & Sansome, San Francisco
  6. Fisher Research Laboratories (1931) was based in this
    house: 1505 Byron St, Palo Alto

  7. Hewlett-Packard’s garage (1937), where William Hewlett and
    David Packard started their business: 367 Addison Avenue, Palo Alto
  8. U.C. Berkeley campus and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  9. The location of Hewlett-Packard’s first building (1942):
    395 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto
  10. Ampex’s original building (1944): 1313 Laurel St., San
    Carlos
  11. The street where Varian (1948) was started: Washington St,
    San Carlos
  12. IBM’s Western Lab (1952), where the Random Access Method
    of Accounting and Control (RAMAC) was built: 99 Notre Dame Street, San Jose
  13. Shockley’s Laboratory (1956): 391 San Antonio Road,
    Mountain View
  14. NASA Ames (1958): Moffett Blvd./NASA Parkway, Mountain
    View
  15. Fairchild (1959), the site where Robert Noyce and others
    co-invented the integrated circuit: 844 E Charleston Rd, Palo Alto
  16. The building that became the corporate headquarters when
    HP moved to the Stanford Industrial Park (1960) and then HP Labs (1966): 1501
    Page Mill Road, Palo Alto
  17. Venture capital’s headquarters in Menlo Park (1969): 3000
    Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Park
  18. Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, where Genentech’s first
    office (1975) was located and where countless start-ups were funded: 2750 Sand
    Hill Road, Menlo Park
  19. Xerox PARC (1970): 3333 Coyote Hill Road, Palo Alto
  20. Four Phase Systems, which started out in a former
    dentist’s office (1969): 991 Commercial St, Palo Alto

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