U.S. Frigate Constitution, Isaac Hull, Esqr., commander

Fame and Infamy for the Hulls of Derby

August 16, 2018

Two Connecticut men, uncle and nephew, had starring roles—one in defeat and one in victory—during the War of 1812. …[more]

Categories: Derby, Politics and Government, Revolution and the New Nation, Surprise, War and Defense, War of 1812

Pins made by Howe Manufacturing Co., Birmingham

John Howe Makes a Better Pin – Today in History: June 22

June 22, 2018

On June 22, 1832, John Ireland Howe invented the first practical machine for manufacturing pins. Howe was born in Ridgefield,... Read more » …[more]

Categories: Derby, Expansion and Reform, Invention and Technology, Ridgefield

Excelsior Cutlery

Connecticut Pocketknife Firms

March 7, 2018

Connecticut pocketknife production began around 1840. Over the next two decades, Connecticut became the earliest state to have a burgeoning craft. …[more]

Categories: Bridgeport, Business and Industry, Derby, Meriden, Naugatuck, Salisbury, Thomaston, Torrington, Waterbury, Winchester, Work

Connecticut Pin Makers

September 16, 2017

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

Categories: Business and Industry, Derby, Naugatuck, North Branford, Seymour, Shelton, Waterbury, Winchester

Detail from a map of Hayt

Ebenezer Bassett’s Historic Journey

February 7, 2017

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

Categories: Civil War, Civil War and Reconstruction, Derby, New Haven, Politics and Government, Slavery and Abolition

Lydia Sherman: The Derby Poisoner

March 10, 2016

Lydia Sherman confessed to killing three husbands and four children, but it is believed that the total number of her victims may be much higher. …[more]

Categories: Crime and Punishment, Derby, Litchfield, Stratford, The Industrial United States, Women

Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses, Bridgeport, photograph ca. 1998

Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses

February 7, 2016

Houses owned by Mary and Eliza Freeman are the only remnants of "Little Liberia," a settlement of free African Americans in Bridgeport, Connecticut, that began in 1831 and reached its highest population just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.  …[more]

Categories: Bridgeport, Civil War, Derby, Historic Preservation, Women

The American Brass Company: Leading the Way in the “Brass Valley”

December 3, 2015

The American Brass Company helped make Connecticut's Naugatuck Valley a center of international brass production, but economic decline and foreign competition ended its run in the late 20th century. …[more]

Categories: Ansonia, Business and Industry, Derby, Torrington, Waterbury, Work

David Humphreys

David Humphreys, Soldier, Statesman, and Agricultural Innovator

August 30, 2015

Despite an accomplished political career, this Derby-born gentleman of means is best remembered for introducing Merino sheep to North America. …[more]

Categories: Agriculture, Ansonia, Business and Industry, Derby, Expansion and Reform, Revolutionary War, Seymour

Joel Barlow

The Hartford Wits

July 24, 2015

Eventually taking the name the "Hartford Wits," some of the most influential figures of the 18th century got together to write poetry that documented the state of the times. …[more]

Categories: Derby, Hartford, Literature, Middletown, New Haven, Redding, Revolution and the New Nation, Revolutionary War, Timothy Dwight, Waterbury, Watertown

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