was in the dark days of the Depression, in a small Palo Alto, California, garage where the country witnessed the birth of an era. How William Hewlett and David Packard started that era is a fascinating story in the annals of engineering science.

William was born on May 20, 1913, in the intellectual Mecca of Ann Arbor, Michigan. His father, Albion W. Hewlett, was a doctor who taught medicine at the University of Michigan. When Will was three, his dad moved the family back to their native California, where he taught at Stanford University. Despite having dyslexia, Will attended a prep school, where he excelled in math and the sciences. But he had problems with everything else. Many dyslexics have problems adapting and developing in society, but Hewlett dealt with this reading disability in his usual engineer fashion. He adapted by learning to memorize and repeat subject matter over and over to himself. Life’s future obstacles would be dealt with in a similar fashion; they were intriguing challenges begging a solution. Will would prove to be a solution master.

At an early age he began his engineering career the way many others in his profession do: by blowing up things. His preferred method was stuffing doorknobs full of explosive. Years later he stated that a doorknob was hollow and compact, and you could put it to good use as a bomb. Despite this not so docile hobby, Will was a good and well-behaved kid. Compared with his adult life, he preferred to keep to himself as a young man. He wasn’t nearly as socially active as his partner, Dave Packard. Dyslexia does not do wonders for a person’s self-esteem, and it is likely that he spent much of his energy growing out of his disability.

But grow out of it he did, developing a love for the outdoors as an avid mountain climber with a penchant for camping. To Will there was a bright new world, including



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