Sunday, April 21, 2024

The sewing machine, invented by Elias Howe, is only one of the Cambridge-created devices and concepts to be discussed Sunday. (Photo: Wikipedia)

News of “Fig Newtons” becoming just “Newtons” served as a reminder that the cookie was created in Cambridge — the Kennedy Biscuit Co. named its cookies for nearby towns in the 1890s — and a Sunday event will do the same for everything from the sewing machine and fire hoses to frozen orange juice, vaccines and venture capital.

“You can’t go through a day without using something that was invented in Cambridge,” said Gavin W. Kleespies, executive director of the Cambridge Historical Society and organizer of “Innovation: How Cambridge Changed America,” a two-hour program being held in the innovation center known as Kendall Square.

“We have been documenting this history for a year,” Kleespies said. After the program comes the launch of a website allowing people to explore some 30 Cambridge inventions, he said, ostensibly starting with early innovations in such industries as shipping ice and making clay bricks, through the Polaroid camera and up to more recent world-changing concepts such as the e-Ink screens on readers’ Kindles and Nooks.

Appropriately, speakers include Michael D. McCreary, the deputy chief technology officer of E Ink Corp. (and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Edward Goldfinger, chief financial officer of Zipcar, the company leading the car-share revolution; Eric Freedman, senior director of marketing at AeroDesigns Inc., which has developed the aerosol delivery system for food and nutrients popularized by LeWiffs, the calorie-free breathable chocolate.

The event is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 7 Cambridge Center, Kendall Square. Tickets are $75. Light refreshments will be served, and guests are encouraged to explore the Broad Institute’s interactive displays on the Human Genome Project and the molecular components of life. For information, call (617) 547-4252 or e-mail [email protected].

This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.