Business & Finance: Switcheroo

In a corporate merger, it is usually the big company that buys a smaller one. Last week Boston's up & coming Tracerlab, Inc. pulled a switcheroo. Tracerlab, which grossed only $1,700,000 last year, bought the much bigger ($8,000,000 gross) Kelley-Koett Mfg. Co. of Covington, Ky., one of the oldest and biggest U.S. X-ray equipment manufacturers.

Founded five years ago by some young, M.I.T.-trained scientists on a $31,000 shoestring, Tracerlab was the first U.S. company to grow out of atomic energy (TIME, Sept. 12, 1949). It built a thriving business selling radioactive isotopes to hospitals, has big Government orders for devices to measure...

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