The History of Waltham

Waltham, Massachusetts was first settled in 1634. As time went on after the 19th century, it was at the forefront of the American Industrial Revolution. In the early 19th century, Francis Cabot Lowell, known as the Father of the Industrial Revolution, founded the Boston Manufacturing Company in Waltham. At his factory, located along the Charles River, he created the Waltham System, which is a manufacturing model that transforms raw material into a completed product at one location. Before this system, the processes of carding, spinning, weaving and fulling cotton were carried on in separate establishments under different proprietors. But in 1813, in consequence of the inventions of Francis Cabot Lowell, the Boston manufacturing company was enabled to combine all these processes in their establishment at Waltham. Because of this system, Waltham became the epicenter of the American Industrial Revolution, and one of the most productive cities in America. Companies such as the Waltham Watch Company located in Waltham and created millions of watches from the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. This is how Waltham got its nickname, “The Watch City”. The Waltham Watch factory was known for its engineering advancements in the standardization of parts, automation of assembly, and precision tools. These are all core ideas behind synthetic biology. Today, Waltham is still an attractive site for science and engineering advances, home to such companies as Raytheon, AstraZenaca and Nova Biomedical. The city has also become a center for research, innovation, and higher education, and is home to Brandeis University and Bentley University.