News & Updates

Alfred Carlton Gilbert, Inventor of the Erector Set – Today in History: February 15

A. C. Gilbert, a successful Olympic athlete, invented the Erector Set after being inspired by the structures he saw while on a train ride from New Haven to New York in 1911.

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Artist Louis Paul Dessar Dies – Today in History: February 14

On February 14, 1952, American artist Louis Paul Dessar died…

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Uriah Tracy

Uriah Tracy Authors the Rules for Impeachment

Uriah Tracy was an attorney and politician who took up…

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Segregation Picket line-Noah Webster School, Hartford

Black History Resources

February 1, 2018 • Everyday Life, Social Movements, Women

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black…

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G. Fox and Co. Delivery Fleet, ca.1910-1950

G. Fox and the Golden Age of Department Stores

Founded by Gerson Fox in 1848, G. Fox & Co….

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Improvement in Cards for Hooks and Eyes

Family Ties Bring Together North Branford Industry

In 1830, a resourceful industrialist opened a button making shop…

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Hills "Archimedean" Lawn-Mower

Reel Lawn Mower Patent – Today in History: January 28

On January 28, 1868, Amariah Hills of Hockanum, Connecticut, received…

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Colonel William Douglas

William Douglas: A Colonial Hero’s Sacrifice

William Douglas was a successful merchant and military leader who…

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Pottery at Norwich, Norwich, ca. 1830.

From Kiln to Collection: Norwich Pottery and Its Makers

January 26, 2018 • Everyday Life, Norwich

Despite the lack of good local clay, Norwich potteries flourished, turning out jugs, jars, crocks, pie plates, dishes, and other utilitarian objects.

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Norwich Free Academy, School Architecture: Pt. II. Plans for Graded Schools by Henry Barnard

Henry Barnard Advances State and National Education Initiatives

This 19th-century reformer sought to promote harmonious social and civic behavior by revamping the US school system.

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Ashbel Woodward house, Franklin

Franklin’s Ashbel Woodward was a Battlefield Surgeon and Historian

Ashbel Woodward was a physician, historian, and farmer who spent…

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Yale University from Colonial Times to the Present

Yale University has grown from the small “Collegiate School” founded in Saybrook in 1701 to one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

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Detail of Sam Colt Memorial

The Colt Memorial, Cedar Hill Cemetery

Commissioned by Samuel Colt’s wife, Elizabeth Jarvis Colt, and designed…

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US Post Office, 1946, Bethlehem

Connecticut’s Christmas Town

Nestled in a quiet section of Litchfield County lies the picturesque town of Bethlehem, known best for its designation as “Connecticut’s Christmas Town.”

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The Colt's Manufacturing Company float for the parade dedicating the Bulkeley Bridge, October 7th, 1908

Hartford’s Industrial Day – Today in History: October 7

Hartford celebrated the 1908 opening of the Bulkeley Bridge with…

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Connecticut Pin Makers

For the latter half of the 19th century and for much of the 20th, Connecticut led the nation in pin production.

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Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury

Danbury Prison Protest – Today in History: August 11

On August 11, 1943, conscientious objectors and other prisoners staged…

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Birth of a Nation Advertisement

Hartford’s Challenge to “The Birth of a Nation”

D. W. Griffith’s silent movie, the racially charged “Birth of a Nation,” initially played to large audiences in Hartford before meeting with official resistance after World War I.

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Right foot of James Wilbraham

Civil War Soldier Dies of Gangrene – Today in History: July 10

On July 10, 1864, Civil War soldier Curtis Bacon of…

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Paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh

The Who, What, Where, When and Why of Archives: How to Use Them

May 15, 2017 • Uncategorized

You could probably guess what archives might be, but think you have never seen one, or have never used one. The truth is most of us have probably used archives and don’t even know it.

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Modified Action in 1969 coming out of turn 4, Waterford Speedbowl

Waterford’s Need for Speed

The Waterford Speedbowl is a 3/8-mile oval racetrack located along…

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Video – Hidden History: Bushnell Park

Your Town’s History in Video: Bushnell Park

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Muster of Civil War troops, Main Street, New Britain, May 11, 1861

The Civil War Commences: Connecticut’s Involvement in the Civil War

Diaries, letters, and other documents provide firsthand witness to the sacrifices of Connecticut men and women during the years of bloody conflict.

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Patents – Stafford’s Inventive Minds

Starting in 1790, Connecticut became a national leader in obtaining patents for its abundant innovations. It not only led the nation in patents issued per capita, but in 1809, South Killingly resident Mary Kies became the first woman awarded a US patent.

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Video – Unsung Heroes: The Music of Jazz in New Haven

This documentary clip showcases the heritage of New Haven’s jazz community, weaving the personal narrative of musicians and their families within the context of the city’s social and political history.

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Patents – Bloomfield’s Inventive Minds

From the time the federal government first began issuing patents…

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Video – Augusta Lewis Troup Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Augusta Lewis Troup, a pioneering labor leader, journalist, educator, and suffragist.

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Mariann Wolcott

Map: Connecticut Women in History (more to come…)

March 27, 2017 • Hide Featured Image, Women, Work

From forging Revolutionary War ammunition to running newspapers, patenting new…

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Video – Dotha Bushnell Hillyer Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to philanthropist Dotha Bushnell Hillyer, patron of a living memorial to her father, the Reverend Horace Bushnell.

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Video – Helen Keller Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Easton resident Helen Keller, an inspirational champion for the disabled.

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Video – Florence Wald Tribute Film

YouTube – Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame The Connecticut Women’s…

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Video – Barbara McClintock Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Hartford native Barbara McClintock, a famed geneticist and Nobel Prize winner.

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Video – When Disaster Struck: The Flood of 1936, Part I

The CPTV Original, When Disaster Struck Connecticut, provides an in-depth look at the four major natural disasters that befell Connecticut between 1888 and 1955. This clip of archival sources and eyewitness accounts paints a vivid picture of how Connecticut residents coped with the Flood of 1936. The flood stands as the worst natural disaster to ever hit Hartford and the other towns that lie along the Connecticut River.

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Video – When Disaster Struck: The Flood of 1936, Part 2

The CPTV Original, When Disaster Struck Connecticut, provides an in-depth look at the four major natural disasters that befell Connecticut between 1888 and 1955. This clip of archival sources and eyewitness accounts paints a vivid picture of how Connecticut residents coped with the Flood of 1936. The flood stands as the worst natural disaster to ever hit Hartford and the other towns that lie along the Connecticut River.

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Middletown, Main Street

Video – When Disaster Struck: King Blizzard

The CPTV Original, When Disaster Struck Connecticut, provides an in-depth look at the four major natural disasters that befell Connecticut between 1888 and 1955. This clip of archival sources and eyewitness accounts paints a vivid picture of how Connecticut residents coped with the monumental storm that hit New England in March of 1888. King Blizzard delivered 20 to 50 inches of snow with drifts of up to 20 feet.

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Blizzard of 1888 - Hartford, corner of Main Street and State Street

Blizzard of 1888 Devastates State

An unexpected and deadly March storm, stretching from Washington, DC, to the Canadian border, buried Connecticut in as much as 50 inches of snow.

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Video – Mary Townsend Seymour Tribute Film

Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Hartford native Mary Townsend Seymour, a pioneering advocate for equal rights for African Americans and co-founder of Hartford’s chapter of the NAACP.

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Horse pistol ca. 1799, Simeon North

Government Orders Horse Pistols – Today in History: March 9

On March 9, 1799, the government issued its first contract…

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Video – Florence Griswold Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Florence Griswold, an Old Lyme native who fostered the impressionist art movement in Connecticut.

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Emma Hart Willard: Leader in Women’s Education

Berlin-born Emma Hart Willard used her passion for learning to create new educational opportunities for women and foster the growth of the co-ed system.

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WTIC-TV filming airplane

Oldies But Goodies – Order DVDs from the Vaults of the Connecticut Humanities

February 14, 2017 • Hide Featured Image, The State

YouTube – CTHPrograms – Co-produced by Connecticut Public Television and…

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Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company

Samuel Colt: From Yankee Peddler to American Tycoon

Hartford native Samuel Colt built a financial empire on his design and automated production of the revolver.

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Detail from a map of Hayt

Ebenezer Bassett’s Historic Journey

This educator, activist, and associate of Frederick Douglass served the US as its first African American ambassador.

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"Four Saints in Three Acts," an opera by Gertrude Stein

Four Saints in Three Acts Debuts – Today in History: February 7

On February 7, 1934, the Wadsworth Atheneum debuted the modernist…

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Lattice Truss Bridge, Ithiel Town

Town Patents the Lattice Truss Bridge – Today in History: January 28

On January 28, 1820, architect Ithiel Town was granted a…

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Video – Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures: American Clock & Watch Museum

Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures is a series of 50 five-minute film vignettes that profiles a variety of the state’s most notable cultural resources.

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Over Time: West Hartford’s Historical Population

January 15, 2017 • Hide Featured Image, West Hartford

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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Workers on the Charter farm on Crystal Lake Road, Ellington

William Pinney Does It All for Ellington

William N. Pinney’s life was one of public service. A…

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Advertising label for Fine Old Bourbon Whiskey, 1855

Video: No Booze for You – Who Knew?

During Prohibition, many Connecticut residents found it easy to obtain alcohol illegally, though violations of Prohibition led to an increase in violent crime.

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View of Ansonia, Conn. 1875

Map – Bird’s-eye View of Ansonia, 1875

November 28, 2016 • Ansonia, Environment

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries panoramic or…

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