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The Raytheon Company is a US military technology technology corporation, most associated with electronics, that transfers a significant amount of its work into the civilian sector. It was founded in 1922 as the American Appliance Company, making a refrigerator advanced for the time, but, in 1925, the name was found to have prior claims on it, and Raytheon was coined. The founders were Laurence K. Marshall, Vannevar Bush and Charles G. Smith,

Work accelerated rapidly with the advent of World War II, when Raytheon became one of the first US firms involved in radar, through the MIT Radiation Laboratory. It received contracts alongside the much larger Western Electric, the manufacturing subsidiary of AT&T.

The company developed the microwave oven in 1947, and acquired Amana Appliances, giving it an entry to the domestic marketplace.

In 1948, it developed the first US experimental surface-to-air missile, and also was the first company to produce commercial transistors.