Ampex was founded in San Carlos in 1944 by Russian immigrant Alexander M. Poniatoff, the company name coming from his initials. The first products were defense related, in this case airborne radar motors and generators developed for the US Navy. After WWII, Ampex flourished developing the first American audio tape recorder. The company was backed… Continue reading Ampex

The Stanford Stock Farm

Prior to the University, the Palo Alto land was originally home to the Stanford Stock Farm. In 1876, Leland Stanford purchased the large ranch as a summer home, a rural setting for his son, and as a place to raise and breed horses. Leland Stanford made significant advancements in horse breeding and training, the farm… Continue reading The Stanford Stock Farm

Salt Ponds

Salt is one of the oldest and most important industries, it is an essential mineral for people, animals, and critical for food preservation; prior to refrigeration, salt was the primary method for preserving food. There is a fascinating book, Salt: A World History, which tells the story of the world’s history through salt. Since 1854,… Continue reading Salt Ponds

James Lick Mansion

James Lick was an American piano builder, who grew up in Pennsylvania but moved to South America since many of his pianos were exported to Argentina. After many years, he settled in California expecting the future annexation due to the Mexican-American War. Lick arrived in San Francisco in January 1848, bringing with him his tools,… Continue reading James Lick Mansion

Mission Santa Clara de Asis

The Spanish missions in California comprise a series of 21 religious outposts; established by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order between 1769 and 1833, to expand Christianity among the Native Americans northwards into what is today the U.S. state of California. # The missions were part of a major effort by the Spanish Empire to… Continue reading Mission Santa Clara de Asis

The Valley

The Valley is defined by the Santa Cruz Mountains on the West, and the Diablo Range on the East. San Francisco is often considered part of Silicon Valley, but geographically it is not; but also historically it played only a negligible role in the development of Silicon Valley. The vast majority of the original companies… Continue reading The Valley


Stanford University is one of the most significant factors for establishing Silicon Valley where it is. The university was founded by railroad tycoon and former California Governor Leland Stanford in memory of his only child who died at the age of 15. On Oct 1, 1891 the first student body of 559 men and women… Continue reading Stanford

Hewlett Packard Garage

Birthplace of “Silicon Valley” This garage is the birthplace of the world’s first high-technology region, “Silicon Valley.” The idea for such a region originated with Dr. Frederick Terman, a Stanford University Professor who encouraged his students to start up their own electronics companies in the area instead of joining established firms in the east. The… Continue reading Hewlett Packard Garage