Photos That Show What Silicon Valley Looked Like Before It Became A Giant Technology Heartland

Before it was Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara Valley was a land of orchards and farmland. This photo, taken from the top of Mount Hamilton in 1914, shows the wide expanse of the valley.

This aerial shot shows freeways, parking lots, and suburban developments dominating the view of Cupertino.
By 1940., Santa Clara Valley had a population of nearly 175,000 people.
Wealthy families, who had moved to the West Coast with the Gold Rush and the construction of the railroad system, were some of the earliest settlers in the Santa Clara Valley.
Slowly but surely, the Santa Clara Valley — and San Jose in particular — started to grow. Letcher Garage, seen on the right side of the photo, was where local residents could buy their Cadillacs and Packards.
In 1943., IBM opened its first plant in San Jose, at the corner of Sixteenth and Saint John Streets. The facility accommodated just over 100 IBM employees.
By the 1950s, San Jose was a bustling city.
By the 1970s and 1980s, San Jose had developed into a thriving metropolis.
And here's a look at Hewlett-Packard's Wolfe Road facility, as it was in 1983.