Austin History Quiz Answer 13 - Austin History Center

PICA 19537

[Magnesium plant and pre-cursor to the Balcones Research Center], circa 1940s, PICA 19537 detail, photo by Neal Douglass

Austin History Quiz Answer 13

When and how did Austin get its start as a high-tech mecca?

Many people place the beginning in the late 1940s, with the establishment of the University of Texas' Balcones Research Center on the 393-acre site of a former federal World War II magnesium plant northwest of Austin.

Many of the UT faculty and graduate students who worked on research projects at various scientific laboratories in the Center (archeology, aerospace, and nuclear physics, among others) went on to start or work in private electronics and research companies. These companies, and the large pool of highly trained researchers at UT, attracted national electronics corporations and their suppliers to build Austin locations.

The first three major high-tech firms in Austin's high-tech wave were Tracor (1950s), IBM (1967), and Texas Instruments (1969).


Question 14
Where was "Chili Square"?

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