This hand-painted map from 1981 is believed to be the earliest map of Silicon Valley to highlight the region’s technology companies. It was created by Corbin Hillam, a designer and illustrator of children’s books.
There are lots of hidden treasures in the map. (Golf! Baseball! Wineries! Skiing! Wait—skiing?) What I’m looking at, though, are the company names, which are perfectly of their era, meaning they sound like they were spit out by a room-size UNIVAC computer: Ampex, Memorex, Acuronex, Siliconix, Measurex, Litronix. (An even more famous x-suffixed company, Xerox PARC, is mysteriously missing. It was in founded in 1969 near Stanford University—PARC stands for Palo Alto Research Center—and in 1981 the company’s 8010 Star Information System became the first commercial computer that uses a mouse.) In that environment, the eponyms—Fairchild, Lockheed, Hewlett Packard before it became HP—are the standouts.
Over the next decade, print maps continued to be popular marketing devices for Silicon Valley tech companies—and the names on the maps continued to illustrate naming trends.