Binghamton is a city in, and the county seat of, Broome County, New York, United States. It lies in the state's Southern Tier region near the Pennsylvania border, in a bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers. Binghamton is the principal city and cultural center of the Binghamton metropolitan area (also known as Greater Binghamton, or historically the Triple Cities), home to a quarter million people. The population of the city itself, according to the 2010 census, is 47,376.
From the days of the railroad, Binghamton was a transportation crossroads and a manufacturing center, and has been known at different times for the production of cigars, shoes, and computers. IBM was founded nearby, and the flight simulator was invented in the city, leading to a notable concentration of electronics- and defense-oriented firms. This sustained economic prosperity earned Binghamton the moniker of the Valley of Opportunity. However, following cuts made by defense firms after the end of the Cold War, the region has lost a significant portion of its manufacturing industry.
Today, while there is a continued concentration of high-tech firms, Binghamton is emerging as a healthcare- and education-focused city, with the presence of Binghamton University acting as much of the driving force behind this revitalization.
The first known people of European descent to come to the area were the troops of the Sullivan Expedition in 1779, during the American Revolutionary War, who destroyed local villages of the Onondaga and Oneida tribes. The city was named after William Bingham, a wealthy Philadelphian who bought the 10,000 acre patent for the land in 1786, then consisting of portions of the towns of Union and Chenango. Joshua Whitney, Jr., Bingham's land agent, chose land at the junction of the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers to develop a settlement, then named Chenango Point, and helped build its roads and erect the first bridge. Significant agricultural growth led to the incorporation of the village of Binghamton in 1834.
The Chenango Canal, completed in 1837, connected Binghamton to the Erie Canal, and was the impetus for the initial industrial development of the area.