John & Mary Rider House

John & Mary Rider House, built circa 1785, a part of the Danbury Museum and Historical Society

Danbury, in Fairfield County, is located in southwest Connecticut, on the Still River. It was named in 1687, incorporated in 1702, and chartered as a city in 1889. During the Revolutionary War, Danbury was a supply depot for the Continental army. The British, led by Major General William Tryon, raided the town in 1777. Nicknamed Beantown early on for the quality of the beans it grew, Danbury eventually earned the nickname Hat City during the nineteenth century when it became the center of America’s hat production. Today, Danbury makes electronic equipment, machinery, and furniture and is home to Western Connecticut State University.

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Merritt Hat Factory, Danbury

Ending the Danbury Shakes: A Story of Workers’ Rights and Corporate Responsibility

Despite the known dangers of prolonged exposure to mercury, the hat-making industry was slow to safeguard workers against its toxic effects. …[more]

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