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Today we know Raytheon as defense giant , but it was actually founded as something decidedly non-aggressive — a refrigerator maker. The company was launched in 1922 by two former Tufts engineering college roommates, Laurence K. Marshall and Vannevar Bush, along with a young scientist, Charles G. Smith. This was just after World War I, as the nation was booming with electricity, telephone lines , and hope. They never got their model for the refrigerator off the ground , but did wind up changing American lives anyway: They came up with the plug-in radio (as opposed to battery-operated), as well as the first commercial microwave oven, miniature tubes for hearing aids , and the first successful missile-guidance system.

Photo bys: David Monniaux