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American Optical Celebrates 150th Anniversary

June 18, 1983
June 18, 1983

American Optical Celebrates 150th Anniversary

On this day in 1983, Southbridge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the nation's oldest optical company — the American Optical Company, or "the A.O." as it was known in the Worcester County town where it...

Patent Office Rules in Favor of Elias Howe

July 1, 1854
July 1, 1854

Patent Office Rules in Favor of Elias Howe

On this day in 1854, the battle ended over who owned the patent for the first sewing machine. A federal commission ruled that the patent held by Elias Howe of Cambridge was valid and ordered...

Strike Ends in Hopedale

July 5, 1913
July 5, 1913

Strike Ends in Hopedale

On this day in 1913, a 13-week strike at the Draper Corporation in Hopedale ended in failure, and the workers returned to their jobs. This was a time of labor unrest throughout the country, but...

Quincy Shipyard Launches First Nuclear Powered Cruiser

July 14, 1959
July 14, 1959

Quincy Shipyard Launches First Nuclear Powered Cruiser

On this day in 1959, the nation's first nuclear-powered cruiser was launched from Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. With its deep and sheltered harbor, Quincy was an ideal site for shipbuilding. Men had been building...

Borden Announces Plan to Sell Prince Pasta Plant

July 16, 1997
July 16, 1997

Borden Announces Plan to Sell Prince Pasta Plant

On this day in 1997, the Borden company announced a tentative deal to save the Prince pasta factory in Lowell. When Borden closed the failing plant, Senator Ted Kennedy remarked that it was "a sad...

Percy Spencer, Inventor of Microwave Oven, Born

July 19, 1894
July 19, 1894

Percy Spencer, Inventor of Microwave Oven, Born

On this day in 1894, Percy Spencer, the self-taught scientist who discovered the power of microwave technology, was born. With an endlessly curious mind, Spencer spent much of his early life figuring out how things...

Hawthorne Visits Natural Bridge in North Adams

August 17, 1838
August 17, 1838

Hawthorne Visits Natural Bridge in North Adams

On this day in 1838, Nathaniel Hawthorne visited Natural Bridge just outside of North Adams. It was just the kind of awe-inspiring scene that so moved early tourists. A 30-foot-long natural marble bridge — the...

Watertown-built Car Climbs Mt. Washington

August 31, 1899
August 31, 1899

Watertown-built Car Climbs Mt. Washington

On this day in 1899, Newton inventor F.O. Stanley took his wife Flora for a drive — into the record books. Leaving home in a steam-powered Locomobile, built in the Stanley brothers' Watertown shop, the...

Polaroid Wins Patent Suit Against Kodak

September 13, 1985
September 13, 1985

Polaroid Wins Patent Suit Against Kodak

On this day in 1985, Polaroid won a huge victory in federal court. A judge ruled that Kodak had violated Polaroid's patents for instant photography. The decision ended a nine-year legal struggle between the two...

Paul Revere Statue Unveiled

September 22, 1940
September 22, 1940

Paul Revere Statue Unveiled

On this day in 1940, a bronze statue of Paul Revere was unveiled in the shadow of the Old North Church. In the crowd of 8,000, stood the sculptor — 79-year-old Cyrus Dallin. He had...