HP Catalogues

HP catalogues are a relatively comprehensive listing of most products available from HP during the year of publication. HP catalogues went by many names including: “Instrumentation”, “Measurement/Computation”, “Test and Measurement”, and others. From the dawn of the computer era (1966), these hardbound books generally had between 400 and 800 pages.

From 1967 through 1991, the catalogues included listings for most of the product categories in which HP had an offering – computing, test and measurement, medical, analytical, etc. The catalogues are not a complete part number listing for all HP products. The catalogues normally only list major products, peripherals and major accessories. Consumables and minor accessories are generally not listed.

HP catalogues were usually published at the end of the year prior to the date of the catalog. For example, the 1976 catalogue was published at the end of 1975. With few exceptions, products that appear in a catalogue were introduced the prior year (or earlier). The year in which a product first appears in the catalogue is not the year in which the product was introduced. It is not unusual for products to not appear in the catalogue for two or three years after introduction. For example, the HP-125 CP/M computer was introduced in 1981, but it does not appear in an HP catalogue until 1984.

Computers first started appearing in HP catalogues in 1967 (with the introduction of the 2116A in 1966). Computers and computer peripherals never accounted for more than about ten percent of the pages in HP catalogues. HP began phasing computers out of its catalogues in the late 1980s (due to short product life cycles relative to instruments). By 1992, computers were less than 1.5 percent of the catalogue (and declining). HP 3000 computer systems never had a big showing in the catalogues. HP included fairly detailed listings of its technical computers, desktop machines and peripherals, but 3000s rarely rated more than a general family description (you needed to contact the sales office to get more information).

The early catalogues all included pricing information. Pricing started phasing out of HP catalogues in the late 1970s. There is no pricing information in the following catalogues: 1979, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986 to 1992. Prices began reappearing in 1993 (after the computers had been phased out). The catalogues have both alphabetical and product number indices. It is not uncommon for a product to appear in an HP catalogue even though it is not listed in the index. For example, many accessories and peripherals for early HP 2000 computers appear in the catalogue but not in the index.

HP did not publish a catalogue each year. There is no 1974 catalogue. There is also no 1971 catalogue; there is, however, a 113-page “1971 Supplement” which lists all the products introduced in 1970 (that didn't make the 1970 catalogue).

Most of the models (people, not products) seen in HP catalogues are HP employees. These employees normally worked for the division which made the relevant product.

HP catalogues from 1967 through 1992.

The electronic HP catalogues are large files, between 24 and 40 Mb.

The Vintage Hewlett-Packard Archive has scanned copies of the early HP catalogues going back to 1943.

1967 - HPCatalog1967-599pages.pdf

1968 - HPCatalog1968-659pages.pdf

1969 - HPCatalog1969-691pages.pdf

1970 - HPCatalog1970-659pages.pdf

1971 - HPCatalog1971-117pages.pdf

1972 - HPCatalog1972-424pages.pdf

1973 - HPCatalog1973-511pages.pdf

1975 - HPCatalog1975-589pages.pdf

1976 - HPCatalog1976-589pages.pdf

1977 - HPCatalog1977-588pages.pdf

1978 - HPCatalog1978-641pages.pdf

1979 - HPCatalog1979-674pages.pdf

1980 - HPCatalog1980-718pages.pdf

1981 - HPCatalog1981-725pages.pdf

1982 - HPCatalog1982-752pages.pdf

1983 - HPCatalog1983-676pages.pdf

1984 - HPCatalog1984-680pages.pdf

1985 - HPCatalog1985-700pages.pdf

1986 - HPCatalog1986-787pages.pdf

1987 - HPCatalog1987-781pages.pdf

1988 - HPCatalog1988-753pages.pdf

1989 - HPCatalog1989-798pages.pdf

1990 - HPCatalog1990-766pages.pdf

1991 - HPCatalog1991-745pages.pdf

1992 - HPCatalog1992-731pages.pdf

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