Varian Associates

Founded in 1948 by Stanford graduates Russell and Sigurd Varian, Edward Ginzton, and William Hansen, Varian Associates was among the first high-tech firms to locate in the Valley. The Varian brothers had close ties to Stanford University, and became the first tenants in the Stanford Industrial Park in 1953.

The Varian bothers originally founded their company in San Carlos, but remained close with the Stanford Microwave Lab and the university's Physics and Engineering Departments. When the company out-grew its facilities in San Carlos, they relocated to the Stanford Industrial Park.

Varian Associates pursued instrumental radar technology and defense research; one of their early defense contracts was developing a fuse for the atomic bomb. Their early contracts included the production of traveling wave tubes and klystrons. The company achieved early success with the production of the world's first high-power klystron in 1951, used in commercial UHF television transmitters. In 1952, the first high-resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer was introduced that opened up new fields in chemical analysis.

Images

Sigurd Varian opening a new Varian building

Sigurd Varian opening a new Varian building

A group of people look on as Sigurd Varian directs a small dish as part of the ceremony to open a new Varian building in this undated image. | Source: Palo Alto Historical Society | Creator: Varian Associates View File Details Page

Varian Associates office complex

Varian Associates office complex

A photograph of an architectural drawing of the Varian office complex on Hansen Way in the Stanford Industrial Park, presumably in the 1950s. | Source: Palo Alto Historical Society | Creator: Varian Associates View File Details Page

Russell and Sigurd Varian with the Klystron tube

Russell and Sigurd Varian with the Klystron tube

Russell and Sigurd Varian stand next to the Klystron tube. | Source: Palo Alto Historical Association View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Jason A. Heppler, “Varian Associates,” Silicon Valley Historical, accessed October 24, 2018, http://svhistorical.org/items/show/11.
Tour navigation:  Previous | Tour Info | Next

Share this Story