Sidebar Site Navigation
Thomas Osborne - '57
Upon completing his B.S. in electrical engineering at the
University of Wyoming, Tom Osborne went on to earn his master's degree in
electrical engineering from the University of California. He was a member of
the Sigma Tau and Phi Kappa Phi honorary fraternities, and is a member of
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Osborne began his career as a meteorologist for the Strategic Air Command in the U.S. Air Force before co-founding Logic Design. While attending Cal in 1964, Osborne constructed the world's first scientific desktop calculator, nicknamed the "Green Machine." Later, Osborne said the "Green Machine" earned its name because he had encased the calculator in balsa wood held together by Elmer's glue and painted with a metallic green paint from GM's 1960 Cadillac automotive division.
Osborne went on to make history again with the HP9100 and HP35 calculators, developed in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard. The HP35, created in 1972, was the first commercial "shirt pocket" calculator. Both the "Green Machine" and the HP35 are on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Osborne, who holds more than 60 patents, was inducted into the UW College of Engineering Hall of Fame in 1998.
Photo courtesy of Thomas Osborne.