Silicon Valley in 1982

Maryanne Regal Hoburg, SILICON VALLEY. Fremont, California: City Graphics of America, 1982.
Large poster printed in halftone color, 30 3/8”h x 39 ½”w plus black border. Minor wear in margins and tack holes in corners, very good overall.

A 1982 pictorial map of Silicon Valley, giving a whimsical snapshot of the era’s enthusiasm and optimism while hinting at darker things to come.

This wonderful pictorial map depicts the large area at the foot of San Francisco Bay, spanning from Fremont in the East to Mountain View in the West. The emphasis is almost entirely on the ecosystem of the technology sector, with the headquarters of hundreds of firms shown, including among them giants such as Apple, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Oracle, and Siemens, as well as now-defunct (or acquired) players such as Fairchild Semiconductor, Sperry Univac and Wang.

Other important niches in the ecosystem are also represented, including universities such as San Jose State and Stanford, moving companies (Mayflower), and food (mostly Mexican). Much effort is given to emphasizing the Valley’s livability, with vignettes depicting for example the stadium of the San Jose Earthquakes (soccer), Turgeon & Lohr Winery (also in San Jose), and the Great America theme park in Santa Clara. There are also dozens of notes, some of them chipper and upbeat, others much less so: “Everybody is in the fast lane.” “Seven day work weeks are not unusual around here.” “Silicon Valley is a highly competitive place.” “There is a housing shortage here.”

Maryanne Regal Hoburg is an author and illustrator of widely-varied works such as the children’s book B.B. Bear, Basic Brown Bear (1978); the inspirational Lord, Let Me Love (1978); The San Francisco Dinner Party Cookbook (1982); See With Your Ears: The Creative Music Book (1983); and The Best Guide to Allergy (1988).

As Silicon Valley loomed ever larger in the American imagination it became the subject of other pictorial maps, such as this one of 1983 and this one of 1991, to my knowledge this map by Hoburg is the prototype.

Rumsey #11492. For more on Maryanne Regal Hoburg, see her interviewed in “Maryanne Hoburg – The Woman Who Mapped Silicon Valley,” a YouTube video produced by the Denver-based Old Map Gallery.