Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

Harvard Business School Baker Library Historical Collections

Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Beckman Instruments, Inc. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Beckman Instruments, Inc.

List of Deals

In 1935 Arnold Beckman created a special ink for the National Postage Meter Company. He then established the National Inking Appliance Company (which later became National Technical Laboratories). The same year, Beckman invented a device for a Southern California citrus processor that measured lemon juice acidity. This device, a pH meter, soon became a standard tool in chemical laboratories. In 1941 he created a wavelength spectrum analysis system.

The company changed its name to Beckman Instruments in 1950 and went public in 1952. During the 1950s, the company created products for aerospace, military, and industrial markets. A portion of the company's sales in 1951 was made to various defense agencies of the government. In 1951 the company established a Special Products Department to investigate possible developments of new products and modifications of existing products, and to determine markets for such products. In 1952 the department was working on the development or production of the following instruments: the H.F. Conductometer, Electrophoresis-Convection Apparatus, a modified DU Spectrophotometer, an Analog-Digital Data Translator, a Phase Equilibrium Computer, and a low-cost Analog Computer. By 1954 the company was in the process of producing mass spectrometers for the Atomic Energy Commission to monitor automatically the gaseous diffusion process in its plants. Beckman remained focused on the medical and research fields throughout this time, and in the 1960s it introduced glucose analyzers and protein peptide sequencers. The company's annual sales were close to $230 million by 1975. Beckman's commitment to research and development continued to grow strongly, and its R&D budget increased from $16 million in 1975 to $33.2 million in 1979.

Harvard Business School Harvard Business School Baker Library Histrorical Collections