Our History

Dear Friends of HP White,

Thank you for visiting our page and taking the time to learn a little more about our business.

For 80-years HP White has provided expert ballistic testing services in support of military, law enforcement, personal safety, and sporting applications. From naval armor used by allied forces in World War II to the body armor worn by patrol officers on our city streets today, since 1936 HP White has played a vital role in ensuring life-saving products get a fair and accurate evaluation before being fielded.

Each member of our team enters the lab with a deep appreciation for the gravity and seriousness of the work we do. We continually evaluate our testing practices through a robust quality system that includes statistical analysis of test data to ensure we minimize variability to the greatest extent possible.

Henry Packard White

We’re often asked about the origin of the name H.P. White, which was borrowed from our founder Henry “Hank” Packard White. Through his mother’s side of the family, Hank was related to the Packard’s which founded Packard Motor Car Company in 1899. From the founding until 1956 Packard produced a range of motorized products from luxury cars to delivery trucks and even some early aircraft engines.

Despite the deep family roots in the automotive industry, in the midst of the Great Depression, White boldly pursued his passion for firearms and ballistics. That passion was sparked into action when White connected with fellow firearms enthusiast Burton “Burt” Munhall. From the age of 10, Munhall had been collecting ammunition cartridges that would ultimately amass to one of the largest in the world and serve as the basis for numerous books and reference materials.

Together in 1936 Hank and Burt hand-built the first HP White laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio. The early days of the lab a large part of the HP White business was related to forensics support for law enforcement agencies and the US military. Under White and Munhall’s leadership, the lab gained renown for expertise in ballistics and began providing forensics services beyond the US, to include Scotland Yard. The vision and passion of White and Munhall established a reputation for technical expertise and integrity that would serve as a solid foundation for building the world’s preeminent ballistics test laboratory.

Following service with the Central Intelligence Agency,  Naval Academy graduate Donald Dunn went to work for HP White, where he threw himself into his work and expanded the business greatly in international markets. As law enforcement agencies increasingly developed forensics testing capabilities in-house, Mr. Dunn’s expanded the test range capabilities and focused the company on supporting US military procurements and the burgeoning soft body armor for law enforcement.

Mr. Dunn worked closely with officials from the Office of Justice Assistance, Research and Statistics, (predecessor to the National Institute of Justice) in developing the first ballistic-resistance test standards for law enforcement equipment in the United States.  Many of the principles established in those early days set the foundation for modern-day NIJ Standards.

In 2008, HP White was acquired by Intertek Group PLC.  Intertek is a Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide with more than 43,000 employees in 1,000 locations in over 100 countries. Through a global network of state-of-the-art facilities and industry-leading technical expertise Intertek provides innovative and bespoke Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification services to customers.

As performance requirements for protective equipment used in law enforcement and military applications have become more complex and scientifically sophisticated, Intertek has proven to be the perfect partner for HP White. Together with Intertek, HP White provides clients with a single-source partner to accelerate proposal preparation and demonstrate the full range of performance features delivered by their products.

Today, HP White not only provides expert ballistic-resistance testing, but can handle all the testing needs of defense and public safety contractors through one trusted source. Flame resistance, anti-microbial properties, chemical resistance, x-ray, impact attenuation, and physical properties are just a few examples of the comprehensive services now provided by HP White.

We thank you again for your interest in our business and welcome any additional questions you may have.

John Cronin
HP White Laboratory