Schenectady, New York, the seat of Schenectady County. It lies on the Mohawk River, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Albany, the state capital. Schenectady is an industrial center, producing primarily electrical goods, equipment for nuclear power plants, and jet engines. The General Electric Company is the city's main employer. Schenectady is served by rail, the New York State Thruway, the New York State Barge Canal, and Albany County Airport. Among notable buildings are several early-18th-century homes, St. George's Episcopal Church (dating from 1759), and the Schenectady Museum. Union College is here. The city has the council-manager form of government.
Schenectady was founded in 1661 by Arendt Van Curler, a Dutchman. Schenectady was incorporated as a city in 1798. It became a trade center for settlers moving westward through the Mohawk Valley and by the mid-1800's was a transportation hub on the Erie Canal and the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad. The city's electrical industry was established in 1886 by Thomas A. Edison, who built a plant here to manufacture electrical machinery.