The area now known as Lynn, Massachusetts was first settled in 1629. The city was first incorporated in 1631 as Saugus, the Nipmuck (Native American) name for the area. The city of Lynn was named after King’s Lynn, in Norfolk, England. After Lynn’s resettlement, many of its areas gradually separated into independent towns.
Colonial Lynn was a major part of the regional tannery and shoe-making industries that began in 1635. The boots worn by Continental Army soldiers during the Revolutionary War were made in Lynn. The shoe-making industry drove urban growth in Lynn into the early 19th century. This historic theme is reflected in the city seal, which features a colonial boot.
Lynn Shoe manufacturers invested in the early electric industry, specifically with Elihu Thomson and his Thomson-Houston Electric Company in 1883. That company merged in 1892 with the Edison Electric Company of Schenectady, New York, forming General Electric. The two original GE plants were located in Lynn and Schenectady. General Electric eventually specialized in aircraft electrical systems and components, with aircraft engines being built in Lynn during WWII. Continuing interaction of material science research at MIT and the resulting improvements in jet engine efficiency and power have kept the jet engine plant in Lynn ever since. A number of new development projects have contributed to what officials hope will be the city’s renaissance.