Waltham, Massachusetts, a suburb of nearby Boston, is chosen by many families and singles as their home because of its close proximity to the big city, while also providing lots of small-town charm and appeal. Waltham also has a rich history of its own as well as many museums and other attractions that shouldn’t be missed! If you’re planning a visit to the Boston area or even if you live in Waltham or another nearby suburb, you might note some interesting facts about this city and its history.
1. Waltham is sometimes referred to as “Watch City of America.” The Waltham Watch Company, founded all the way back in 1854, was the first in the country to start mass producing watches on an assembly line. Before closing in 1957, the company is said to have produced an estimated 35 million watches and similar instruments, and is thought to have played a part in the beginnings of the American industrial revolution.
2. Waltham is home to the Boston Manufacturing Company, founded in 1813, which is believed to be the first integrated textile mill and first factory established in the United States. The founders of the mill introduced a process that integrated cotton spinning and weaving, as well as the use of a power loom, which allowed for faster production of cotton textiles and materials.
3. Starting in 1975 and continuing into the early 80s, the now-popular rock band Aerosmith rented space at A. Wherehouse, a warehouse at 55 Pond Street in Waltham. The band would use the lower levels for practice and tour rehearsals and for composing music, and the upper part of the building served as their office and meeting space. The founder of their official fan club, Aero Force One, also composed the club’s newsletter and sold official merchandise out of the building as well.
4. Notable people from Waltham include political activist Abbie Hoffman; voice actor Carroll Spinney, who provided the voices of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on the popular show Sesame Street; and Pulitzer Prize winners Gordon S. Wood and Franz Wright.
5. The city of Waltham has over 100 locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Warren White House; the United States Watch Company; the Frank J. Tyler House; the Stark Building; the Newton Street Bridge; Lord’s Castle; The Castle; The Boston Manufacturing Company; and the Charles Baker House.
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