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Who Knew?


Paper dresses

Get Out Your Paper Dress, Gal! – Who Knew?

October 22, 2018 • Hartford, Popular Culture, Who Knew?

…that in 1966 the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford was featured…

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Henry Davis

Cleopatra’s Needle and Groton’s Captain Davis – Who Knew?

…that Cleopatra’s Needle, the Egyptian obelisk erected in Central Park…

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Flood damage to railroad tracks, Derby, 1955

Hurricanes Connie & Diane Deliver Double Hit – Who Knew?

…that Hurricanes Connie and Diane, which struck within days of…

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Landscape Architect Frederick Law Olmsted, early 20th century

Landscape Architecture Helps in Healing – Who Knew?

…Hartford-born landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted re-designed the grounds on…

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World War I Poster

War and the Fear of Enemy Aliens – Who Knew?

…that Greenwich had a special police unit trained to handle suspected foreign agents operating in Connecticut.

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Hazard Powder Company gunpowder barrel

One-Legged Stools – Who Knew?

. . . that Hazard Powder Company employees sat on…

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Hazard's Electric Gunpowder, Hazard Powder Company

Colonel Augustus G. Hazard, Gunpowder Manufacturer – Who Knew?

…that Connecticut resident, Augustus G. Hazard owned and operated over…

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Mohawk Ski Area

Mohawk Mountain Made Snow for Winter Sports Lovers – Who Knew?

…that in the early 1950s innovative Connecticut minds created the…

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The Living Actually Haunted Many Connecticut Taverns – Who Knew?

Early Connecticut laws deemed anyone who spent excessive time in taverns as a “tavern haunter” and subjected them to fines and ridicule.

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There’s No Place Like Home for the Designer of Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers – Who Knew?

December 26, 2016 • Arts, Naugatuck, Popular Culture, Who Knew?

Connecticut-born Adrian, the American clothing designer who found success in Hollywood, designed Dorothy’s ruby slippers for The Wizard of Oz.

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Detail from the broadside an "Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly" composed by Jupiter Hammon

Hartford Publishes the First Literary Work by an African American – Who Knew?

…that Jupiter Hammon, who endured life-long enslavement became the first…

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Ingersoll Mickey Mouse Wrist Watch, 1933

Waterbury Clock Company Saved by Mickey Mouse – Who Knew?

…that the Ingersoll Waterbury Company (now Timex) was saved from…

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The Atheneum Joins War Effort – Who Knew?

December 8, 2016 • Arts, Hartford, Who Knew?, World War II

…that the Wadsworth Atheneum contributed to home front morale and…

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The White Pine Acts – Who Knew?

The British government made it illegal for colonials to cut down white pine trees over 24 inches in diameter—preserving the trees for use as masts on British naval ships.

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Borden's Evaporated Milk Crate Label

Evaporated Milk’s Connecticut Connection – Who Knew?

…that in 1856 businessman Gail Borden Jr. opened the first…

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The Deutschland at the Connecticut State Pier in New London

New London Harbors a German Submarine During World War I – Who Knew?

The German merchant submarine Deutschland made two trips to America, including one to New London, Connecticut, during World War I.

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Steam-powered cider press at BF Clyde's in Mystic

BF Clyde and the Steam-powered Cider Mill – Who Knew?

…that the oldest steam-powered cider mill in the US still…

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Charcoal Kiln, Union

1938 Hurricane Fuels Charcoal Business – Who Knew?

…that the hurricane of 1938 which devastated the Quinebaug Forest…

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Portland Passenger Bridge, ca. 1906

The Longest Highway Drawbridge – Who Knew?

August 22, 2016 • Middletown, Portland, Who Knew?

… that in 1896, when the Middletown and Portland Bridge…

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Machine for Paring Cocoa Nut Meats

North Branford Vied for the Title of “Shredded Coconut Capital of the World” – Who Knew?

…that patents granted to North Branford residents included one for…

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Deep River Drum Corps

The World’s Record for the Largest Muster – Who Knew?

…that Deep River holds the distinction of hosting the largest…

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Monument to Capewell, the inventor of the famous horseshoe nail

Horseshoe Nail Capital of the World – Who Knew?

…that Hartford, famous as the Insurance Capital of the World,…

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1938 ad for Sperry Topsider

Boat Shoes Have Ties to Connecticut – Who Knew?

…that during a cold Connecticut winter in 1935 Paul Sperry…

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Two Days After Marriage

Grounds for Divorce – Who Knew?

June 25, 2016 • Everyday Life, Law, Who Knew?

… that in 1667 the colony of Connecticut passed the…

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Perry Memorial Arch, Entrance to Seaside Park, Bridgeport

The Park City – Who Knew?

 …that Bridgeport’s nickname is the “Park City” due to its…

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Mark Twain's Interactive Scrap Book

Samuel L. Clemens Receives Scrap-book Patent – Who Knew?

…that writer and humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his…

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New York and New Haven Railroad train bound from Manhattan

Misread Signal Leads to Deadly South Norwalk Train Wreck – Who Knew?

…that by 1853, the era of steamboat transportation had largely…

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Florence Wald

The First Hospice – Who Knew?

…that the first hospice home-care program in the United States…

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Amos Shepard, Plantsville, Design for a Wrench Member

The “Perfect Handle” Hatchet – Who Knew?

…that in the early 1900s, H.D. Smith and Company of…

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Savin Rock Amusement Park, 1930s

Connecticut’s Youngest City – Who Knew?

… that the city of West Haven, incorporated in 1961,…

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The 1909 seven passenger limousine

The Hardware City Could’ve Been the Motor City – Who Knew?

…that New Britain could add automobile manufacturing to its long…

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Shaker women and buildings, Enfield, 1890s

Shakers Revolutionize Garden Seed Business – Who Knew?

…that the Shakers of Enfield first packaged seeds in small…

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February 2, 1902, a fire broke out at Reid & Hughes dry goods store in Waterbury

Six Cities Respond to 1902 Waterbury Fire – Who Knew?

…that the fire, which swept through Waterbury on a stormy…

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Hazardville Powder Company

Powder Hollow in Hazardville – Who Knew?

…that 40% of all the gunpowder consumed in the Civil…

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A Fair to Forget – Who Knew?

…send in the cops to stop all the fun. In…

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Benjamin Silliman and Soda Water – Who Knew?

…that Yale’s first professor of chemistry, Benjamin Silliman, was also…

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Julian Alden Weir, The Farm, etching

Weir Farm the Result of a Trade – Who Knew?

 …that Weir Farm located in Ridgefield and Wilton, Connecticut resulted…

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Elizabeth Park, Hartford

Oldest Rose Garden – Who Knew?

…that the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Hartford is the…

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The Gilbert clock model is on the right

Papier-Mache Clocks – Who Knew?

…that the William L. Gilbert Clock Corporation of Winsted was…

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Mounds Candy Bar Involved in Espionage – Who Knew?

…that a storied Naugatuck business had its own “navy” and…

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Sharon Baseball Team

Semi-Pro Baseball in Sharon – Who Knew?

…that from the 1930s until about the early 1970s, Sharon…

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Almira Ambler, Civil War Nurse

A Voice for Veterans: A Civil War era ‘Whistle-Blower’ – Who Knew?

Her obituary stated that “Mrs. Ambler was always expected to say something” on behalf of those who had fought for the Union.

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Memorial Sculpture, 1988. Mark Rabinowitz, sculptor

Monument to Hero of the Greenwich Police Department – Who Knew?

… that a memorial in Byram Park honors the town’s…

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Historic photo of the Ebenezer Avery House, Groton

The Ebenezer Avery House – Who Knew?

…that the Ebenezer Avery House on the grounds of Fort…

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Conjectures upon the Nature and Motion of Meteors by Thomas Clap

America’s First Planetarium – Who knew?

…that in 1744 Thomas Clap, Rector and Yale College president…

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A fire swept through the tent at the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, July 6, 1944

Hartford Circus Fire: “The Tent’s on Fire!” – Who Knew?

…that the Hartford Circus Fire may be the worst human-caused…

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Signpost, Harwinton

Harwinton’s Sign has a Long History – Who Knew?

June 24, 2013 • Harwinton, Who Knew?

…that a sign has stood at the intersection of Route…

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First Company Governor’s Horse Guards escorting President Taft

Oldest Cavalry Unit – Who Knew?

….that the First Company Governor’s Horse Guards is the oldest,…

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Clock tower and Sharon Inn, Sharon, ca. 1930s

The Rise of the “Second Home” Community in Sharon – Who Knew?

…that after the Civil War and through the 1930s, recreational…

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The entrance to Luna Park, ca. 1907

Luna Park – Who Knew?

… that Luna Park in West Hartford, a popular attraction…

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Elisha K Root, President of Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company

Elisha Root Changes Industry – Who Knew?

…that  Elisha Root invented die casting that revolutionized the mechanization…

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