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1930s-1950s

The Grumman Aircraft Corporation decided to move to Bethpage in 1936. Land was purchased from several families, and from the Central Park Hunt Club, which owned a polo field in the area. With the outbreak of World War II the runways were paved and over 17,000 aircraft rolled off the production line at Grumman. Grumman was renowned for efficiency and high morale during the way, as over 500 planes were churned out each month. The U.S. Navy awarded Grumman the prestigious "E" award for production efficiency over five years in a row. Grumman continued to grow in the 1950s, especially during the Korean War, and opened facilities in eastern Long Island at Calverton, and in Florida. Grumman and the local community became quite interconnected, with Grumman sponsoring baseball teams for children, and donating land to the Bethpage Fire Department in 1956.

Above: Aerial View of Grumman's runway and manufacturing facilities in 1953. The main runway was 6,700 feet long. In this photograph farm fields and lower density development are still evident. Although in the southwest corner the first traces of tract housing can be seen. This area is very close to present day Levittown, and was built up earlier than the more north eastern parts of the area.