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Cities of Knowledge by Margaret Pugh O'Mara

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4

Building “Brainsville”: The University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia

IN 1940, if a casual observer had been asked which large American metropolis—the San Francisco Bay Area or greater Philadelphia—would become the capital of the nation’s high-tech industry sixty years later, they would have very likely answered “Philadelphia.” Philadelphia was then the third-largest city in the country, and its region was headquarters to many leading electronic and advanced scientific firms. Because the U.S. financial sector was concentrated almost entirely on the Eastern Seaboard, Philadelphia firms and entrepreneurs had easy access to necessary private financing. The University of Pennsylvania, the region’s most prestigious research institution, was home ...

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