Beckman Coulter Inc., is a company that makes biomedical laboratory instruments. Founded by Caltech professor Arnold O. Beckman in 1935 as National Technical Laboratories to commercialize a pH meter that he had invented, the company eventually grew to employ over 10,000 people, with $2.4 billion in annual sales by 2004. Its current headquarters are in Fullerton, California.
In the 1940s, Beckman changed the name to Arnold O. Beckman, Inc. to sell oxygen analyzers, the Helipot precision potentiometer, and spectrophotometers. In the 1950s, the company name changed to Beckman Instruments, Inc..
In 1955, Beckman established the seminal Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory as a division of Beckman Instruments to begin commercializing the semiconductor transistor technology invented by Caltech alumnus William Shockley. Because Shockley's aging mother lived in Palo Alto, California, the Shockley Laboratory was established in nearby Mountain View, California, and thus, "Silicon Valley" was born.
In 1982, the company merged into SmithKline to form SmithKline Beckman, with Arnold Beckman as vice chairman, but regained its independence in 1989 after SmithKline merged with Beecham Group to form SmithKline Beecham (now part of GlaxoSmithKline).
In 1995, the company acquired Hybritech, Inc. from Eli Lily
In 1996, the company acquired the Sanofi portion of Sanofi Pasteur Diagnostics
In 1998, the company acquired Coulter Corporation, a company founded by Wallace H. Coulter and changed its name to what it is today.
In 2005, the company acquired Diagnostic Systems Laboratories (DSL) based in Webster, Texas.
In 2006, the company acquired Lumigen and Agencourt Bioscience.