In the early 1990s, the digital revolution seemed to be in full swing — the CD was overtaking the cassette tape, the fax machine was transforming electronic communications, and some people had even figured out how to set the clock on their VCR.

Looking back some 25 years later, however, it’s easy to see we were only in the beginning stages of what has become known as the information age.

The technology advances made in the final decade of the 20th century were critical to realizing the high-definition, mobile-connected world of today. While Silicon Valley and Seattle gave us Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, respectively, Tony Hynes was across the country, making his mark on the future of product design and durability in his Latham, New York, basement, where he started Precision Valve and Automation in 1992. His focus: designing and building dispensing valves for the application of adhesives.

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