by Herman Brown, Sloan Instruments, 1968-1971
close window

home | 2009 | 2007 | 2003 | 1995 | old pictures | then and now | class of 1968-1970 | lost ones (updated 06/24/16) | roster

Dick's 83rd Birthday, 2010

 From Helen Larsen and John Corbani:

It's time for another "Sloaner".

In 1962, Dick Riegert, Harry Applebay and John Corbani mapped out a company on a cocktail napkin at Torqy's bar on De la Vina Street.  Dick put up venture capital of $1000 and  Sloan Instruments was born. They moved into their first headquarters on Milpas Street and started selling thin film equipment to the fledgling computer-chip industry.  By 1969, Sloan Technology had moved to the old Bracero headquarters on Montecito St., changed its name, gone public, was traded over the counter, and was up to 120 employees.

Sloan was very much a family to many of its employees, not just a  job. Every new sales record was celebrated on Dick Riegert's office patio with cases of champagne. Everyone was invited.  Many a Friday afternoon saw the phones shut down and the whole company assembled on East Beach for volley ball, subs, sodas and cold beer. Company picnics were for employees, family, contractors, suppliers, and friends.

Christmas parties were a grand affair and nothing was spared. One year a Christmas gift to everyone was in the form of a tin can created by Walt Miller and Bob Brown of the marketing department. The label on the can said "Mother Sloan's Cookies" and featured a picture of Bob Brown in a Santa Hat. Can openers were scattered around the room. In the can was a brand new, crisp, $100 dollar bill.

By 1981, the founders had left and the parties died away. The company was sold to Veeco in the mid-80's and an era was over.  

A lot of the old Sloaners are still around and they gather occasionally to touch base and remember the "good old days". 

It's time for another "Sloaner".