ONE CITY. FIVE BOROUGHS.
HUNDREDS OF TECH COMPANIES,
STARTUPS, ENTREPRENEURS,
INCUBATORS, OUTLIERS,
INNOVATORS, AND DISRUPTERS.

NEW YORK CITY - IT’S THE HOME OF WORLD-CHANGING INNOVATIONS. OVER THE LAST 135 YEARS, THIS CITY HAS BROUGHT THE WORLD EVERYTHING FROM THE LIGHT BULB TO FM RADIO TO COLOR TELEVISION TO THE DONUT-CROISSANT HYBRID (YES, INNOVATION TAKES NEW SHAPE EVERY DAY).

TECH'S CURRENT RENAISSANCE IS BUILT UPON THE CITY'S RICH LEGACY AND INVESTMENT IN TECH INNOVATION. THIS IS THE CITY WHERE ART, DESIGN, MEDIA, CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT, AND TECHNOLOGY ALL COME TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE; WHERE YOU CAN SHOW UP WITH NOTHING BUT A DREAM AND CHANGE AN INDUSTRY FOREVER.

SILICON ALLEY HISTORY

The term “Silicon Alley” originated in 1995 and was derived from California’s long-established “Silicon Valley.” At the beginning, it solely referred to New York's high-tech industries thriving in and around the Flatiron District. 

Fast-forward twenty years and tech is thriving in all five boroughs. It’s an unstoppable force that’sdriving an entire city to create, innovate, and disrupt.

But New York City’s innovative spirit was alive long before Silicon Alley…

  • 1838
  • 1883
  • 1883
  • 1890
  • 1904
  • 1924
  • 1925
  • 1927
  • 1937
  • 1946
  • 1947
  • 1958
  • 1959
  • 1964
  • 1981
  • 1990
  • 2011
  • 1838

    MORSE

    After years of experimentation, Samuel F. B. Morse builds a working telegraph and sends a message via Morse code, which communicates human speech through digital signals, as computer codes do today.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    Western Union Telegraph Company Records, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
  • 1883

    EDISON

    While perfecting the light bulb, Thomas A. Edison discovers that electricity can flow through a vacuum. The “Edison effect” later leads to the vacuum tubes that controlled current flow in early computers.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    National Archives and Records Administration
  • 1883

    BROOKLYN BRIDGE

    The Brooklyn Bridge was completed after 13 years of construction. An engineering triumph, it became the world’s longest suspension bridge and the first to use galvanized steel wire in its cables.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    [Universal History Archive]/[Universal Images Group]/Getty Images
  • 1890

    CENSUS

    Herman Hollerith’s electrical tabulating machine introduces punched-card technology to process the 1890 U.S. Census in record time.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
  • 1904

    SUBWAY

    New York City’s underground rapid transit system - the first major subway system in the United States - opens.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    [PhotoQuest]/[Archive Photos]/Getty Images
  • 1924

    IBM

    In 1911 Hollerith's company joins with two others to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR). Thomas J. Watson, Sr. joins the company in 1914, quickly becomes its President, and, in 1924, renames it International Business Machines (IBM).

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    Courtesy of IBM Corporation Archives.
  • 1925

    BELL LABS

    Bell Laboratories, a descendant of Alexander Graham Bell’s earlier lab, is created and housed at 463 West Street, Manhattan.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    Courtesy of Alcatel-Lucent/Bell Labs
  • 1927

    TRANSATLANTIC

    The first transatlantic phone call was made from the AT&T building.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    [Topical Press Agency]/[Hulton Archive]/Getty Images
  • 1937

    MODEL K ADDER

    Bell Labs mathematician George Stibitz conceives a computer that processes data using electrically operated switches. His 1937 Model K Adder tests the concept. It pioneers digital computing by using binary numbers (just 1s and 0s) to match the on/off switches of his relays.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    Courtesy of Alcatel-Lucent/Bell Labs
  • 1946

    MAINFRAMES

    Continuing work begun during the war, women become the first programmers of the massive ENIAC computer, nicknamed the Giant Brain, at the University of Pennsylvania and later the SSEC in NY.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    Courtesy of the U.S. Army.
  • 1947

    TRANSISTOR

    A Bell Labs team invents the transistor, for which the three scientists win the Nobel Prize for Physics. With the invention of the integrated chip in 1957, millions of transistors and all their circuitry can be etched in a single chip of silicon. The new technology will replace vacuum tubes and lead to the miniaturization of computers.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    (Left to right) John Bardeen, William Shockley, and Walter Brattain, June 1948. Courtesy of Alcatel-Lucent/Bell Labs.
  • 1958

    BROOKHAVEN LABS

    At Brookhaven Laboratories on Long Island, William Higinbotham creates what may be the first video game, later known as Tennis for Two.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    Courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory.
  • 1959

    COBOL

    COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language), a computer language for businesess, is created by a team that includes UNIVAC computer pioneer Grace Hopper. It uses English-like syntax, easily understood and readable by programmers and users.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    Courtesy of the Computer History Museum.
  • 1964

    IBM 360

    In early April, IBM announces the System/360, a general-purpose family of computers that can be programmed for any task and expanded as needed. Later in the month, the World’s Fair opens in Queens, introducing visitors to the newest technology and gadgets.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    Courtesy of IBM Corporation Archives.
  • 1981

    IBM PC

    IBM introduces the personal computer, also known as the 5150. The computer’s display alongside a vase and red rose mirrors IBM’s original advertising campaign to promote its newest invention

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    [Science & Society Picture Library]/[SSPL]/Getty Images
  • 1990

    SILICON ALLEY

    During the '90s New York was a pioneering tech hub and at its center was Silicon Alley, located in the Flatiron District. The city’s entrepreneurs founded hundreds of online companies that pushed the limits of the emerging technology and met the growing demands of its new markets.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    [Time & Life Pictures]/[The Life Picture Collection]/Getty Images
  • 2011

    WATSON

    The IBM computer named Watson in honor of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., appears on TV’s Jeopardy! and defeats all-time winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

    Timeline copy courtesy of
    Seth Wenig, Man vs. Machine, January 13, 2011. Associated Press.

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