Lynn is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 89,050 at the 2000 census. An older industrial center, Lynn is home to Lynn Beach and Lynn Heritage State Park. The U.S. Geological Survey National Mapping Information locates this city at 42° 28' 26" N, 070° 57' 20" W.

The area known as Lynn was first settled in 1629 by Edmund Ingalls (d. 1647 and incorporated in 1631 as Saugus, the Nipmuck name for the area. The name Lynn was given to the area after King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, in honor of Samuel Whiting.

After Lynn's re-settlement many parts of the town were set off as independent towns. Reading was created in 1644, Lynnfield in 1782, Saugus in 1815, Swampscott in 1852, and Nahant in 1853. Lynn incorporated as a city in 1850.

Colonial Lynn was a major part of the regional tannery and shoe-making industries that began in 1635. The boots worn by Continental Army soldiers during the Revolutionary War were made in Lynn. The shoe-making industry drove urban growth in Lynn into the early nineteenth century. This historic theme is reflected in the city seal, which features a colonial boot.

In 1816 a mail stage coach was operating through Lynn. By 1836, 23 stage coaches left the Lynn Hotel for Boston each day. The Eastern Railroad Line between Salem and East Boston opened on August 28, 1838. This was later merged with the Boston and Maine Railroad and called the Eastern Division. In 1847 telegraph wires passed through Lynn, but no telegraph service station was built till 1858.

Lynn Shoe manufacturers, lead by Charles A. Coffin and Silas Abbott Barton, invested in the early electric industry. Specifically in 1883 with Elihu Thomson and his Thomson-Houston Electric Company. That company merged with Edison Electric Company forming General Electric in 1892. Charles A. Coffin served as the first president of General Electric. Elihu Thomson later served as acting president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1920 to 1923.

Initially the GE Electric plant specialized in arc lights, electric motors, and meters. Later they specialized in aircraft electrical systems and components, and aircraft engines were built in Lynn during WWII. That engine plant evolved into the current jet engine plant during WWII because of research contacts at MIT in Cambridge. Gerhard Neumann was a key player in jet engine group at GE in Lynn. The continuous interaction of material science research at MIT and the resulting improvements in jet engine efficiency and power has kept the jet engine plant in Lynn ever since.

Like many industrialized urban areas, Lynn began a decline in the 1950s with Suburbanization. Lynn's population peaked at 99,000 in 1950. Lynn was too far away from Route 128 to benefit significantly from the 128 technology companies.

Lynn suffered several large fires in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including a devastating inferno among former shoe factories at Broad and Washington Streets on November 28, 1981. The blaze destroyed 17 downtown buildings undergoing redevelopment, with property losses totaling in the tens of millions of dollars. The site has since been largely redeveloped into a satellite campus of North Shore Community College.

Lynn remains home to some of the jet engine division of General Electric, a major employer, as well as West Lynn Creamery (now part of Dean Foods's Garelick Farms unit) and Durkee-Mower, makers of "Marshmallow Fluff."

In the early 2000s, a number of new development projects have contributed to what officials hope will be the city's renaissance. Industrial buildings that were formerly vacant have been converted into loft spaces by real estate developers, and bought by young home-buyers who seek the urban lifestyle of Boston proper, but can't afford the higher prices of Boston's South End and similar neighborhoods. Encouraged by local developer Tom Kennedy, renowned New Urbanist architect Robert Orr proposed a series of charettes for the redevelopment of Lynn's waterfront in conjunction with Lynnfield Engineering. City Hall is encouraging the community's resurgence, with new antique-style lighting, signage, brickwork, and a multipurpose municipal football stadium. The North Shore Spirit, a professional baseball club, played in Lynn at renovated Fraser Field through the 2007 season. Lynn has also become home to one of the largest Russian communities in the North Shore. The first wave of immigration began in the early 1990s when Jewish people in Russia were granted refugee status by the American government. The Great Stew Chase Road Race is a 15K (9.3 mile) event held in early February. It is the 3rd oldest 15K race in the United States.

In December 2007, the Massachusetts Seaport Advisory Council approved $750,000 in funding at City Hall, paving the way for a commuter ferry from Lynn to Boston.