PARC (company)

Founded1970; 49 years ago (1970)
FounderJacob E. Goldman[1]
PARC entrance

PARC (Palo Alto Research Center; formerly Xerox PARC) is a research and development company in Palo Alto, California.[2][3][4] Formed in 1970, the company was originally a subsidiary of Xerox, and was tasked with creating computer technology-related products and hardware systems.[1][5]

Founded by Jacob E. "Jack" Goldman, Xerox Corporation's chief scientist, Xerox PARC has been in large part responsible for such developments as laser printing, Ethernet, the modern personal computer, graphical user interface (GUI) and desktop paradigm, object-oriented programming, ubiquitous computing, electronic paper, amorphous silicon (a-Si) applications, the mouse and advancing very-large-scale integration (VLSI) for semiconductors.[6][5]

Xerox formed Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2002.[7]


In 1969, Jack Goldman, Xerox's Chief Scientist, spoke to George Pake, a physicist specializing in nuclear magnetic resonance and provost of Washington University in St. Louis, about starting a second research center for the company.

On July 1, 1970, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center opened.[8] While the 3,000-mile buffer between it and Xerox headquarters in Rochester, New York afforded scientists at the new lab great freedom to undertake their work, the distance also served as an impediment in persuading management of the promise of some of their greatest achievements.

PARC's West Coast location proved to be advantageous in the mid-1970s, when the lab was able to hire many employees of the nearby SRI Augmentation Research Center (ARC) as that facility's funding began falling, from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and U.S. Air Force (USAF). Being situated on Stanford Research Park land leased from Stanford University encouraged Stanford graduate students to be involved in PARC research projects and PARC scientists to collaborate with academic seminars and projects.

Much of PARC's early success in the computer field was under the leadership of its Computer Science Laboratory manager Bob Taylor, who guided the lab as associate manager from 1970 to 1977 and as manager from 1977 to 1983.

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