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Waltham Information

Often called the true birthplace of the industrial revolution, Waltham is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 59,226 at the 2000 census. The city is 10 miles west of Boston, Massachusetts on the Charles River. Waltham is partly surrounded by Interstate 95 (I-95). It is bordered to the west by Weston and Lincoln, to the south by Newton, to the east by Belmont and Watertown, and to the north by Lexington.

Waltham is home to Brandeis University, Bentley College, and The Sports Authority Training Center, which serves a dual role as practice facility/offices of the Boston Celtics.

Waltham is commonly referred to as Watch City because of its association with the watch industry. This is due to Waltham Watch Company, which opened its factory in Waltham in 1854. The American Waltham Watch Company, AWWCo Inc, was one of the pioneers of the Industrial Revolution. It was the first company to make watches on an assembly line. It won the gold medal in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Over 40 million watches, clocks and instruments were produced by Waltham Watch Company until it closed in 1957. A search engine to retrieve information on vintage U.S. made Waltham watches by serial number is available at the Waltham Memorial.

The name of the city is pronounced with the primary stress on the first syllable and secondary stress on the second syllable, although the name of the Waltham watch was pronounced with accent only on the first syllable. The second vowel is pronounced properly (“Wall-tham”, to rhyme with tall-ham), and not elided into a schwa (“Wall-thumb”) as might be expected in American English.

Waltham is some distance from the inner circle of Boston’s hip, bustling inner neighborhoods (such as Cambridge, Beacon Hill, the Back Bay, and the South End), and maintains a distinctly different flavor. A number of high-tech companies have taken advantage of the lower cost of real estate to set up shop in the ring of office parks that dot the highway exits in Waltham, and swank restaurants and business-class hotels have sprung up to serve their needs.

Downtown Waltham’s Moody Street offers its own brand of entertainment with a colorful assortment of shops, restaurants, and bars, including the Watch City Brewing Co., The Skellig, Jake’s Dixie Roadhouse, The Lincoln (L), and the Embassy Cinema. Moody Street’s booming night-life, convenience to the commuter rail and lower rents have attracted younger professionals to Waltham in growing numbers in recent years. Moody St. is also referred to as “Restaurant Row”.

For over 25 years, the Waltham Arts Council has sponsored “Concerts On Waltham Common”, featuring a different musical act each week of the summer, free of charge to attendees. “Concerts On Waltham Common” was created and organized by Stephen Kilgore until his death in 2004. Open space in the city is protected by the Waltham Land Trust. Waltham includes Gann Academy, Brandeis University and Bentley College.