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Billings & Spencer Company

Christopher Miner Spencer, 19th-century Arms Manufacturer

Christopher Miner Spencer, from Manchester, obtained 42 patents during his lifetime and created the first successful breech-loading repeating rifle.


Portrait of an older man wearing a black suit and a white clerical collar. He is also wearing glasses and has a white handkerchief in his breast pocket

Canon Clinton Jones: A Revolutionary Figure in Connecticut’s LGBTQ+ History

Canon Clinton Jones was a central figure in Connecticut’s LGBTQ+ community and a pioneer for compassionate care, queer visibility, and gender affirmation.


Cheney Brothers Mills

The Cheney Brothers’ Rise in the Silk Industry

February 9, 2022 • Business and Industry, Work, Manchester

Building a business on the back of an insect may seem foolish but for Manchester’s Cheney Brothers silk mill, it became the ticket to global success.


The “Red Scare” in Connecticut

The Palmer Raids, launched in Connecticut in 1919, were part of the “Red Scare” paranoia that resulted in numerous civil rights violations committed by law enforcement officials.


1954 ad for Pioneer Parachutes

Parachutist Snagged in Midair – Today in History: September 13

On September 13, 1966, Charles (Chuck) Alexander in Manchester, Connecticut became the first human to be captured by an aircraft in flight.


Laboring in the Shade

Thousands of Black Southern students, including a young Martin Luther King Jr., came north to work in Connecticut’s tobacco fields.


Silkworms, Cheney Brothers, Manchester

Connecticut’s Mulberry Craze

Connecticut, especially Windham and Tolland Counties, was the epicenter of US raw-silk production in the mid-19th century.


Adeline Gray at the Pioneer Parachute Company, Manchester

First Human Test of a Nylon Parachute – Today in History: June 6

On June 6, 1942, Adeline Gray made the first jump by a human with a nylon parachute at Brainard Field in Hartford.


Hotchkiss & Sons Artillery Projectiles

Connecticut Arms the Union

By the Civil War’s end, Connecticut had supplied 43% of the total of all rifle muskets, breech loading rifles and carbines, and revolvers bought by the War Department.


Over Time: Manchester’s Historical Population

January 14, 2014 • Hide Featured Image, Manchester

Census data, from colonial times on up to the present, is a key resource for those who study the ways in which communities change with the passage of time.


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