Waltham is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The city was an early center for the labor movement, as well as a major contributor to the American Industrial Revolution. The original home of the Boston Manufacturing Company, the city was a prototype for 19th-century industrial city planning, giving rise to what became known as the Waltham-Lowell system of labor and production. The city is now a center for research and higher education, home to Brandeis University.
Waltham is commonly referred to as Watch City because of its association with the watch industry. Waltham Watch Company opened its factory in Waltham in 1854 and was the first company to make watches on an assembly line. It won the gold medal in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The company produced over 35 million watches, clocks and instruments prior to its closure in 1957.
Waltham was first settled in 1634 as part of Watertown and was officially incorporated as a separate town in 1738. In the early 19th century, Francis Cabot Lowell and his friends and colleagues established in Waltham the Boston Manufacturing Company, the first integrated textile mill in the United States. The city is home to a number of large estates, including Gore Place (a mansion built in 1806 for former Massachusetts governor Christopher Gore) and the Lyman Estate, a 400-acre (1.6 km2) estate built in 1793 by Boston merchant Theodore Lyman.