Session D5: Origins of Silicon Valley

2:30 PM–4:54 PM, Monday, March 16, 2009
Room: 401/402

Sponsoring Unit: FHP
Chair: Gloria Lubkin, American Institute of Physics

Abstract ID: BAPS.2009.MAR.D5.1

Abstract: D5.00001 : Prehistory of Silicon Valley, from 1910 to 1965

2:30 PM–3:06 PM

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  Stewart Gillmor
    (Wesleyan University)

The term ``Silicon Valley'' was coined in 1971, some six decades after the emergence of the San Francisco Bay Area as a center of innovation and invention in the fields of radio and electronics. The geographical position of San Francisco with respect to continental and Pacific transportation and communication needs; the growth of West Coast universities, markets, and population; the importation of talent from the East; innovative industrial and business methods--all these provided a thriving center of instrumentation, electronics, avionics, and high energy physics when Silicon arrived in the ``Valley of the Heart's Delight.''

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