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Hewlett-Packard buys garage where company founded

PALO ALTO, California (Reuters) -- In the lore of Silicon Valley, it is simply "The Garage" -- the legendary birthplace of California's high-tech revolution.

The small, one-car garage near Stanford University where William Hewlett and David Packard launched their electronics company in 1938 has been sold -- to Hewlett-Packard Co., the multibillion dollar global computer giant. Price: $1.7 million.

"It's on the Silicon Valley version of 'Map of the Stars,"' company spokesman Greg Winter was quoted as saying in Saturday's San Jose Mercury News, confirming the purchase.

Hewlett-Packard, which now logs some $42 billion in annual revenues and employs 86,000 people, purchased the 12-by-18 foot one-car garage -- along with the house and cottage it serves -- in August from a local property firm.

Tenants have since moved out and the company plans to restore the garage where Hewlett and Packard started their company with a $538 investment and a simple product designed to test sound equipment.

While the garage has emerged as a major draw for high-tech tourists visiting Silicon Valley, its original tenants were not exactly enamored of its charms.

Hewlett, who visited the site when it was designated a state historical landmark in 1989, was reported to be dismayed, the Mercury News said. "Now they can't tear it down," he said at the time.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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