The Bowmar Instrument Corp. was formed in Fort Wayne in 1951 by Edward and Joan White. He earlier had been head of the electron-mechanical section of the Farnsworth Television Co. At first a one-employee operation in a barn loft at Smith Field, the company grew to 30 employees by 1953, and by 1957 had expanded to occupy the site of today's operation on Bluffton Road.
In 1971, the company introduced the first hand-held calculator called the "Bowmar Brain." The technology developed at Bowmar, which included the familiar red "LED" (Light Emitting Diode) readouts, enabled American business to regain from the Japanese the lead in calculator electronics.
As it turned out, Bowmar lost the calculator in the marketplace because it was unprepared for the huge popularity of the new item. Borrowing heavily to increase production and determined not to use cheaper foreign labor, Bowmar found itself unable to compete in the calculator price wars of the mid-1970s. In addition, the Bowmar product was hurt by having to deal with its chief rival, Texas Instruments, for basic components - many of which, it later was learned, were defective or held up in delivery. Bowmar, like ITT and Magnavox of Fort Wayne, withdrew from the consumer market and has concentrated instead on government and industrial contracts.
The company White Electronic Designs Corp. was formed in 1998 through the merger of Bowmar Instrument Corporation (White Microelectronics) and Electronic Designs, Inc., inheriting a legacy of sixty years in electronics manufacturing.

with permission of the author