Electrical engineer Ed White, a former Harvard University research assistant and employee of the trailblazing Farnsworth Radio and Television Corporation, started Bowmar in his Fort Wayne, Ind., garage in 1951 at the age of 23.


Six months later, after initially investing $3,500 of his own money and borrowing $6,500 from friends, the expanding business was moved to a loft in an aircraft hangar and later increasingly larger spaces.


Bowmar’s precision mechanical devices were eventually used in a variety of landmark products, including F4s, the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module and jet passenger aircraft. But one of the company’s biggest defining moments came in 1971 when it produced the world’s first hand-held calculator. The so-called Bowmar Brain sold for $240 and ushered in a new frontier of global technological advances.


Over the years, Bowmar has gone through a number of changes, including acquisitions and mergers that ultimately led to a new name, White Electric Designs Corporation, a relocation of the corporate headquarters to Phoenix, Ariz., and division offices in Fort Wayne, Ind., Portland, Ore., and Westborough, Mass.


Today, the company has returned to the Bowmar name and an 80,000-square-foot headquarters in Fort Wayne, where it remains the preferred choice in electromechanical and electronic systems and subsystems, high-reliability interface products, and precision gear assemblies.


Bowmar’s highly skilled team of engineers, designers, assemblers and other staff have served thousands of customers over the years and support the needs of some of the world’s leading industries, including Honeywell, General Dynamics, Rockwell Collins, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Curtiss Wright, L3 Communications and Hamilton Sundstrand.


What Ed White started modestly in his garage more than six decades ago has become a global leader in precision products that are meeting the technological demands and new horizons of the 21st century.