Innovation Gallery

Moseley Autograf, model 680 6" strip chart recorder, c. 1964

HP's Moseley division produced plotters and other graphic recording instruments that automated the labor-intensive process of plotting data by hand.

Strip chart recorders were used primarily in industrial applications where there was a need for continuous recording of such data as aircraft testing (wing stress), oil well exploration (seismic logs) and satellite solar converters (voltage output).

The Moseley 680 strip chart recorder used a capillary-fed ink pen supplied from a replaceable ink cartridge or by a stylus on pressure-sensitive paper. Eight chart speeds and 10 calibrated input voltage ranges were selected from the front panel. It was constructed in modular form, for rack mounting singly or in pairs or for tabletop operation.

The Moseley technology was pioneering in the field of two-axis graphic recording instruments.

In the late 1920s, Francis L. Moseley, tired of the tedious task of writing down columns of data, plotting graphs and drawing smooth curves, conceived the idea of an x-y recorder using standard-size graph paper. An x-y recorder is an electromechanical device that produces permanent graphical displays of two input variables as they relate to each other.

In 1951, the F.L. Moseley Co. was formed in a California garage to manufacture the first commercially available models of the x-y recorder, called the Autograf line. For scientists and engineers everywhere, the Moseley x-y recorder meant that a means for automatically recording the relationship between two variables was finally available. Friction to heat, vibration to velocity, current to voltage - whatever the variables, the Autograf made it possible to trace them on chart paper automatically, rather than tracking them by hand.

In 1958, HP acquired the Pasadena, California-based F.L. Moseley, complementing its highly diversified line of measuring and signal-generating instruments. The association made it possible to further develop and improve the graphic recording instruments, which by then had become a standard in the industry, and to correlate uses and applications with many HP products.

Moseley Autograf, Model 680.

HP's first-ever acquisition was Pasadena, California-based F.L. Moseley in 1958.