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Through 1939


 >1920s Like most of New England, Greater Boston’s prosperity is built on farming, fishing, financial services and a wide range of manufacturing including, shoes, textile, machine tools, tires, automobiles and electrical equipment.


 >1922- Tufts- and MIT-affiliated entrepreneurs Laurence Marshall, Vannevar Bush, and Charles G. Smith start American Appliance Company in Cambridge, to manufacture a revolutionary refrigerator.


 >1924. With the failure of its refrigerator design, American Appliance switches to manufacture of electronics – specifically acquiring patents to C.G. Smith’s rectifier tube from AMRAD. Company changes name to Raytheon and within a few years moves to Waltham, its fortune established by success of the “S-Tube”, which allows radios to plug into household current. Radio sales begin to skyrocket as a result.


>1926  Edwin Land drops out of Harvard; develops revolutionary material for polarizing light


>1927 Now at MIT, Raytheon co-founder Vannevar Bush designs a mechanical computer called the Differential Analyzer. It is subsequently constructed and in its variants functions until after World War II


>1930s  Route 128 planned;


>1931 Hygrade (based in Salem), Nilco, and Sylvania (from Pennsylvania) merge to form the Hygrade Sylvania Corporation. The company sells lamps under the Hygrade name, and radio tubes under the Sylvania name and begins making fluorescent lamps in Massachusetts in 1938.


 >1932, General Radio, a maker of electronic test equipment founded in Cambridge in 1915, manufactures first strobe light developed by Harold “Doc” Edgerton at MIT


>1932 With his former Harvard instructor, Edwin Land starts Land-Wheelwright Laboratories in a Wellesley barn to commercialize his invention.


 >1936 Walter Baird, a researcher at Watertown Arsenal, and two others, John Sterner and Harry Kelly, start Baird Atomic, to develop and manufacture spectrographic instruments for industrial and scientific use.


 >1937 Edwin Land gets backing from top New York financiers to buy out his partner and start Polaroid.


 >1939: First catalog is published by Boston-based Radio Shack


>1939 With support from IBM, Howard Aiken at Harvard begins construction of giant Mark I electro-mechanical digital computer weighing five tons.  




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