Innovation in Rural New Hampshire

Hollywood Squares layout of students on zoom

In 2020, Keene State College may host the only economics class in the country to visit local manufacturing plants as we read economic theory. Even as once-powerful local employers have reduced their footprint, the community of precision machinists and engineers in the Connecticut River Valley has created a cluster of optics firms. The integrity of plant managers, the skill of precision machinists, and the persistence of owner-engineers have overcome repeated asset bubbles and shocks over the past 25 years. We invite you to view student research at these links, where you can press “play” to hear the audio.

Don Brehm and Pneumo Precision — Hunter Sanborn explains how Pneumo Precision moved from air bearings to diamond turning machines, and the sale that Wall Street forced in 1984.

Ken Abbott and ABTech — Emma Larocque explains the challenges to which ABTech has adapted over its two decades, then Devin Briggs discusses ABTech’s contribution to NASA.

Bruce Myrick and Corning — begin with Caitlin O’Dell’s blog, then continue on to Remy Bedard’s blog, and then Michael Knight examines the paradox that high tech thrives in this rural location.

Len Chaloux and Moore Nanotechnology — Finlay Morgan explains Mr. Chaloux’s early career, while Cassie Woods explains the founding of Moore Nanotechnology in 1997, and Zach Watkins explains how the firm expanded in the depths of the 2009 recession.

Joe Baute and Markem — Christian Chafla explains the theoretical difference between value extraction and value creation, while he and Matt Pittendreigh then explain how Joe Baute and the Putnam Family inspired value creation until the firm was sold in 2006.

Tony and Jackie Romero, Edith Putnam & Markem. Shelby Offord explains why working at Markem was special,–and also explores the respect for culture that Markem brought to its international sales.

Bob Rooney and Timken. Andrew Mello explores the impact that FASB 106–an accounting change–had on the provision of healthcare benefits at Timken Superprecision and corporate America.