The history of the Hamilton companies began in the late 1940s. Clark Hamilton, a chemical engineer, who had studied at MIT, developed a lead shielded syringe for precision handling of radioactive isotopes in collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore Radiation Laboratory near Berkeley, California.
Upon relocation to Whittier, California and his garage there, Clark Hamilton’s activities quickly focused on the need for microliter liquid handling in the field of chromatography. By his effort, Hamilton became the world leader in sample handling for the field of chromatography, and in 1960 the fledgling company outgrew the family garage, proudly moving into its first of many rental facilities.
These precision microliter syringes would provide the sample introduction to a chromatograph where precision, accuracy, and reproducibility were key in the separation science of chemistries. Even today, they remain the standard for use in chromatography.
In 1968, Clark Hamilton founded an identical company in Bonaduz, Switzerland to enable production of these syringes for the European scientific community. Today Hamilton Bonaduz AG continues to manufacture, design, and create new products in concert with Hamilton Company in the U.S. In 1970 the company in Whittier, California was relocated to Reno, Nevada where it remains today. The two companies work in concert today with competence centers driving innovation in a wide array of products. Starting in 1974 the management was turned over to Steve Hamilton, and with the support of his brothers, continues to drive the companies to this day. The business however has grown not only exponentially in sales, but also into automated liquid handling of chemistries that has benefited the world by enabling the first automated screening of whole blood for AIDs and hepatitis, as well as an unlimited array of other solutions that continue to need automation on a microliter level.
Today the company employs 3,000 employees and it is growing. Hamilton on a global level is the largest automated liquid handling company in the world. Along the way, many new technologies have emerged in the areas of sensor and measuring technology as well as the founding of a medical company. Hamilton Medical AG, as a separate business, produces world class critical care ventilators with cutting edge technology enabling patient respiratory monitoring for real time ventilator adjustments, providing a superior level of patient care. Hamilton Medical AG and its subsidiary Hamilton Medical, Inc. now are number one in the critical care field of ventilation.