A catchall term for fads, popular amusements, mass-marketed goods, and almost anything else that captured the public’s fancy, popular culture reveals much about the lifestyles and aspirations of Connecticut residents in every age. In colonial times, the desire for British tableware and other imports spoke to notions of what it meant to remain civilized on the frontier. Centuries later, the Colonial Revival craze re-imagined frontier life as a time of simplicity and stability—the perfect escape from the pressures industrialization. From horse and automobile racing and the state’s folklore tales to performers like William Gillette and Sophie Tucker, Connecticut’s past passions have influenced and enriched society in many ways.
Luna Park opened in Hartford in 1906. While providing many thrilling and exotic attractions, it failed to compete with the larger and more successful shoreline attractions at Coney Island. …[more]
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