Silicon Valley Aerospace

By the time A View To Kill arrived on the silver screen, Silicon Valley was already a part of popular culture. The IBM PC and Macintosh were both commercial successes that captivated the public’s attention. Personal computers were becoming staples in tech-oriented homes. Libraries were making them available for public use. Our fascination with digital technology was well underway.

But what made the Silicon Valley so fertile for technical innovation? It had to start somewhere: Intel needed customers for the 4004 and later microprocessors, and those didn’t just spring into being overnight. In the late sixties, computers were called mainframes and for a reason: they took up rooms of space to perform computations as fast as that smartphone in your pocket.

Who needed those computers? The aerospace industry did. And Silicon Valley was home to many companies serving civil and military aerospace projects. Some, like Lockheed Martin are still here. Others, like FMC (at one time Food Machinery Corporation) are no longer in this area. Chances were if you worked in the Bay Area around this time, there was a 50% probability your job was indirectly, if not directly, connected to the aerospace industry.

On this blog we are glad to present the personal stories of those of us who were, and sometimes still are, connected to such a technologically demanding industry. We didn’t know we were developing the future. But we were glad to have played a part.