This is the first symposium ever to be held on the subject of spreading resistance measurements. As I see it, the purpose in having this meeting is to gather together those who are currently using the spreading resistance measurement technique in their work on semiconductor processing problems along with others who would like to be able to do something about the same or similar problems, in the hope that, by sharing our knowledge and experience, we may all be better able to use the spreading resistance technique to our own advantage. I hope and believe that we will achieve this particular goal and that therefore in the future this meeting will be referred to as “The First Symposium on Spreading Resistance Measurements.” In deciding what I should talk about in a keynote speech for such an occasion, two related subjects came to mind. First, a number of individuals who haven't worked in the semiconductor industry from its earliest days have expressed an interest in the questions of where the technique came from as well as why and how it came about. Therefore, in the first part of my talk today I would like to relate the background of the spreading resistance technique as I know it. The second subject that came to mind is also in response to certain people that I've met over the years. These are the people who, when first exposed to the spreading resistance technique, rapidly developed a “hang-up” with respect to the mechanics of the contacts used. In an attempt to shed some light in this area, I will devote the second part of this morning's talk to what I know about the achievement of reproducible, known-geometry, metal-semiconductor, small-area pressure contacts. These contacts are what I have often referred to in past discussions as “conditioned” contacts.