Last Updated: 11/07/2012*

Sixty years ago, television was taking the nation by storm. Microwaves were popping up in kitchens. Computers were beginning to change the world.

And on Wall Street, Raytheon, the company at the center of all this technological change, was joining the New York Stock Exchange.

On Friday viewers across the world watched as Chairman and CEO William H. Swanson marked Raytheon’s 1952 listing by ringing the closing bell of the exchange.

“This milestone is a testament to Raytheon's world-class team, past and present, and its consistent focus on creating shareholder value through customer success,” Swanson said.

60 Years on the NYSE by Ringing Closing Bell - Image

Company leaders, including Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David C. Wajsgras, joined Swanson on the balcony overlooking the trading floor.

Raytheon’s stock was first listed on the NYSE on Sept. 15, 1952. That year Raytheon reported net sales of $111 million and a workforce of 17,000 employees. Its stock traded between $9.50 and $9.87 per share (actual price, not adjusted for stock splits).

In 2011 the Waltham, Mass.-based company had sales of $25 billion and 71,000 employees worldwide.

Raytheon’s arrival on the NYSE came at a time of swift technological change.

In 1952 the company had just developed the RAYDAC computer for the U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics. The company’s Stockholm television was appearing in living rooms.

Raytheon’s research division was purifying germanium for use in semiconductors, the early versions of today’s computer chips.

The microwave oven, a Raytheon invention, was being installed in buffet cars on Pennsylvania Railroad trains.

Today the company is a leader in aerospace and defense. Its engineers are pioneering new technologies, like gallium nitride components, that promise to transform daily life.

The number of shareholders has grown from about 7,730 to 340,000 at the end of 2011.

“We are proud to celebrate our 60th year on the exchange, and our history of industry-leading innovation in support of our customers around the world,” Swanson said.

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