Niskayuna Community

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Niskayuna was established in 1809, but it was settled by the Dutch c. 1640. The name "Niskayuna"  is a Native American term for "extensive corn flats."  In 1809, the population of Niskayuna was only 681 people.  Today, Niskayuna numbers over 21,000. The Mohawk River skirts the community. The old Erie Canal, a waterway built across New York State in the early 1800's for commerce, crossed the Mohawk River in Niskayuna. The crossing was an aqueduct that was 748 feet long, rising 25 feet above the river.

Niskayuna is a suburb of Schenectady - the home of General Electric. Schenectady's history dates back to 1621, after the Dutch West India Company was chartered, following Henry Hudson's voyage up the Hudson River. In 1661, settlers purchased land along the Mohawk River from the Iroquois Indians.  The name Schenectady means, "over the pine plains," which refers to the land between Schenectady and Albany.

Today, Niskayuna is a residential community of mostly single family homes, condominiums, and apartments. Only 20% of the town is comprised of commercial properties. Niskayuna is the home of General Electric's Research and Development Center, Lockheed-Martin Knolls Atomic Power Lab, Environment One, and Schenectady International Research Lab. 

 Significant Dates:

  • August 1831 - The first steam locomotive traveled from Albany to Schenectady. 
  • June 23, 1886 - Thomas Edison established the Edison Machine Works Co. in Schenectady, which later became the General Electric Co. 
  • January 13, 1928 - the first experimental television program was broadcast from the home of Ernst Alexanderson, from Schenectady, NY 
  • May 10, 1928 - the first television program was broadcast twice a day  from Station W2XB, later known as WRGB, which is still in existence today.
  • May 22, 1930 - the first public demonstration of a large screen television took place before a theater audience, at Proctor's Theater, in Schenectady







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