NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

From Manufacturing Center to Tech Hub: A History of Newark

The Amazon VOICE summit held at NJIT over the summer was not only a landmark occasion for the institution, but also for the city of Newark as a whole. The summit is a manifestation of recent efforts to revitalize and rebrand Newark as the next Silicon Valley. While examined alongside the economic activity of Newark in recent decades, the tech boom may seem like a novel development, in his closing remarks at the conference Mayor Ras Baraka mentioned that Newark actually was the first Silicon Valley. By looking back on the history of Newark, we can follow Newark’s development as a manufacturing and trading junction, then insurance center, and current tech hub. 

1666:City of Newark, New Jersey founded

1872:Newark hosts the Newark Industrial Exhibition: a 52-day event featuring artisanal and industrial products valued in total over $700,000, with an attendance of more than 120,000 people–record-breaking numbers at the time.

            Closing statement of the exhibition given by Cortlandt Parker, Esq:

“It is beyond doubt that the character of Newark as a city of manufacturersis far better and more kindly known throughout the land by means of the existence of this Exposition…”


1880s:Newark begins to establish itself as insurance industry hub

1885:“Prudential Insurance Company of America” establishes headquarters at Bank and Broad Streets, Newark

1908:Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company completes its building in Newark

1929:New Jersey Bell Telephone Company headquarters building built in Newark

1930s:Great Depression serves as catalyst for urban flight and exodus of manufacturers from the city

1967:Mounting racial tensions manifest in Newark Riots, leading to departure of economic investment and decades of population decline

2000: Beginning of decade in which, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Newark experiences a population increase for the first time in nearly six decades

2006: Audible Inc., an Amazon company, announces move of headquarters to 1 Washington Park, Newark

2007:Prudential sponsors newly constructed entertainment venue, The Prudential Center

2013: Panasonic Corporation of North America opens its United States headquarters in Newark, in addition to introducing the Panasonic Innovation Center

2018: A number of tech investments and conferences elevate the city’s status as a major juncture of technological innovation and development

January: Newark makes the shortlist of 20 finalists for Amazon’s HQ2, or second headquarters

April: Intersection, a NY-based tech company, announces that Newark will be the first city in NJ, and only the fourth city in the world, to feature LinkNWK kiosks


Remarks from NJIT President, Dr. Joel Bloom

“The idea that this city is on its way to be a tech hubis outstanding.”

July:NJIT and City of Newark host Amazon VOICE Summit, attracting over 2,500 registered attendees representing eight countries

September: Newark Venture Partners announces new Fall 2018 NVP Labs program, bringing a cohort of 8 new tech startups to the city (Ejenta, Exempt Me Now, Floss Bar, RankMiner, StackSource, Talentegy, Team Mobot, and Upsider)

October:NJIT and City of Newark set to host MetroLab Network Annual Summit


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