Electro Scientific Industries

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Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. (ESI) is a high technology company headquartered in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, more specifically in Washington County, in the unincorporated Cedar Mill area north of Beaverton, U.S.A. It is a developer and supplier of photonic and laser systems for microelectronics manufacturers. Founded in 1944, it is the oldest high-tech company in Oregon. Along with Tektronix, and later Intel, it has spawned numerous technology-based companies in the Portland area, an area known as the Silicon Forest. ESI was founded in 1944 as Brown Engineering, later becoming Brown Electro-Measurement Corporation (BECO). In 1953, BECOs Douglas C. Strain and three other investors bought out Strains partners at Brown and formed a new company, Electro-Measurements Inc., which used the brand name "ESI" in marketing. The acronym stood for "excellent scientific instruments", but the companys name remained Electro Measurements Inc. until 1959, when it was changed to "ESI, Inc." and finally in 1960 to Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. (ESI). Prior to about 2000, the company was usually referred to as having been founded in 1953. Douglas Strain was the companys CEO and board chairman from 1953 until 1980 and remained on the board (continuing as chairman until 1985, then vice chairman) until fully retiring in 1999. In the 1950s, the companys specialty was the manufacture of high-precision resistance measuring instruments and related products. In 1970, ESI began developing laser trimming systems for resistor circuits, and soon became a leader in this field.


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