1961 to 1980

 

 >1961 At Harvard Business School, Dr. James L. McKenney introduces The Business Game, to the graduate curriculum in 1961. It is the world’s first business simulator.

 

 > 1961 With two Nobel laureates as scientific advisors, Dr. Orrie Friedman leaves faculty position at Brandeis University to launch the world’s first biotechnology company, Waltham-based Collaborative Research, Inc.,

 

>1962 Wang Laboratories introduces first electronic justifying typesetting system.

 

>1962  President John F. Kennedy challenges nation to reach moon before the Soviet Union.  Route 128 area firms take on major role in Project Apollo lunar landing.

 

>1963: First specialized graphics terminals developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratories (Sketchpad), beginning the computer-aided design (CAD) era. Sketchpad uses the first light-pen, precursor to the mouse, developed by Ivan Sutherland.

 

>1965 Wang Laboratories puts the first logarithmic calculators on the market and in the 1970s seizes the leadership of the word processing market.

 

>1967 Thermo-Electron tapped by National Institute of Health to develop power source for artificial heart.

 

>1967: First issue of Computerworld is published in Newton.

 

>1968  Digital Equipment Corporation engineer, Edson deCastro, quits and starts Data General, swelling the ranks of companies seeking to emulate Ken Olsen’s minicomputer success.

 

>1968 Digital Equipment Corporation goes public with an initial public offering value of $37 million, earning a 101% annualized return on investment for ARD.

 

>1968 (January)According to Design News magazine, the programmable logic controller was introduced by GM Hydramatic. GM Hydramatic had put out a request for proposal for an electronic replacement for their hard-wired electro-mechanical controllers. Bedford Associates won. PLCs are now standard across the manufacturing industry with vendors Allen-Bradley, ABB, Honeywell, Siemens, etc.

 

 >1969 General Radio introduces first commercial computer-controlled logic circuit analyzer – creating the automatic testing industry.

 

>1969 The first “nodes” of the ARPAnet are completed in California by Cambridge-based Bolt, Beranek & Newman using computers made by Waltham-based Honeywell. Within a year, ARPAnet expands across the country and becomes the eventual basis for the Internet.

 

>1970  Honeywell merges its computer business with General Electric's to form Honeywell Information Systems.

 

 >1970: DEC ships its first 16-bit minicomputer, the PDP-11/20, while rival Data General ships the SuperNova.

 

 >1971  Bowmar Instrument Corp, Acton, Mass., a manufacturer of LED displays, introduces the four-function 901B –marketed as the Bowmar Brain --  considered the first true pocket calculator, and perhaps the first with an LED display. The product is promoted through famous TV Ads “Now I'm not a dummy anymore" --which makes “Bowmar” a new slang word for intelligence. (“That Joe is a real Bowmar!”)

 

>1971 Sharp cuts in defense and space programs lead to massive unemployment along Route 128. Many people relocate to other states.

 

>1972 Polaroid introduces SX-70 Single Lens Reflex instant color camera. Dr. Edwin Land is on cover of Life magazine. Company continues expansion along Route 128 with film and camera manufacturing in Waltham and Norwood.

 

>1972: Prime Computer starts as yet another maker of minicomputers.

 

>1974 Digital Equipment Corporation ships its 30,000th minicomputer and joins the ranks of the Fortune 500.

 

>1975 General Radio renamed GenRad

 

>1975 Despite having achieved the position of number two in total US calculator sales, behind Texas Instruments, brutal competition forces Bowmar into bankruptcy and out of the calculator market.

 

>1975 Bill Gates drops out of Harvard, starts Microsoft.

 

>1976 Boston-area rock band Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers record “Roadrunner,” anthem to driving on Route 128.

 

>1976 MIT trained Polaroid engineer Tom Scholz powers his garage band, Boston, with special audio technology, leading to release of the largest-selling debut album of all time. Scholz later starts Waltham company to develop and manufacture technology for musicians.

 

 >1976 As older industries continue to falter, Massachusetts unemployment rate briefly exceeds 12 percent. Rising taxes and energy costs add to “misery index” and state nickname: Taxachusetts

 

>1977 Polaroid reaches annual sales of $1 billion. Edwin Land awarded is 500th patent.

 

>1977 Polaroid’s introduction of “instant” movie film system is quickly overshadowed by video cassette recorder technology.•  

 

>1977 Digital logs 100,000th computer shipment, introduces technically advanced 32-bit superminicomputer, the VAX-11/780.•

 

>1977 Walter Gilbert and Allan Maxam at Harvard University devise method for sequencing DNA using chemicals rather than enzymes, accelerating growth of biotechnologies sector in region.

 

>1978 Massachusetts High Technology Council forms to promote interests of high tech industry.

 

>1978 Cullinane Corporation (later Cullinet), founded in 1968, becomes first software company to go public.

 

>1979 VisiCalc, the first computer spreadsheet, is developed and marketed by. Harvard Business School student Dan Bricklin and partner Bob Frankston.

 

>1979 EMC founded by Richard J. Egan and Roger Marino in Newton, Massachusetts. Initial products are add-on memory for minicomputers.

 

>1980  “Make It In Massachusetts” campaign from the administration of Governor Ed King promotes resurgence of business activity.

 

>1980 One million computers in use in US.

 

>1980s Karlos, the first computer-generated (using Digital Equipment's DECTalk) on-air personality in radio history is introduced by Boston-based WBCN on-air personality Charles Laquidara.

 

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