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 1961, Beckman merged with Offner Electronics, a company founded by inventor Franklin F. Offner.
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 Lilly
In 1996, the company acquired the Sanofi portion of Sanofi Pasteur DiagnosticsIn 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.
In 2007, the company acquired the Flow Cytometry Business Group of Dako North America, Inc.
In 2009, the company acquired Lab-based Diagnostics business of Olympus Corporation Japan.
In 2009, the company moved its world headquarters from Fullerton, California to the newly renovated facility in Brea, California.
In February 2011 Danaher announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Beckman Coulter.
On June 30, 2011 Danaher finalized the acquisition of Beckman Coulter.