December 1: PEZ Candy Opens Visitor Center in Orange

  Today, PEZ candy conjures up images of whimsical plastic dispensers full of small, brick-shaped little candies.  First invented in Austria in the early 20th century, PEZ candy has quite a storied history — one that visitors can learn for themselves with a visit to the PEZ Visitors Center in Orange, Connecticut, which first opened…

November 19: The International Silver Company Founded in Meriden

  On this day in 1898, the International Silver Company, one of Connecticut’s most famous and globally-recognized brands, was formally incorporated in Meriden.  The central Connecticut city had already established a national reputation as a leading producer of silver and silver-plated goods by the late 19th century, earning it the nickname “the Silver City.”  By…

November 17: The First Clock Patent in United States History

  Today in 1797, inventor and famous clock manufacturer Eli Terry of Plymouth received the first clock-making patent ever issued in the United States, launching an incredible career in manufacturing that helped make Connecticut the epicenter of quality clock manufacturing for the duration of the 19th century. Born in the eastern division of Windsor in…

November 2: The “Best Built Car in America” Hits the Road

  On this day in 1902, the Locomobile Company of America delivered its first four-cylinder, gasoline-powered car, designed by engineer and former racecar driver Andrew Riker, who personally drove the $4,000 car from Bridgeport, Connecticut to New York City to present it to its new owner. The Locomobile Company, whose headquarters and main factory were…

October 26: Hartford’s Underwood Typewriters Speed Past the Competition

  The first few decades of the 20th century were heady years for the American typewriter industry, after the invention of portable typing machines in the late 1800s revolutionized the business world by making clerical work faster, cheaper, and easier.   Connecticut was home to several of the world’s most popular and innovative typewriter companies…

September 24: Connecticut’s Last Whaling Voyage

  In the 19th century, New London, Connecticut was one of the busiest whaling hubs in the entire world, outranked only by Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts.  Whale oil was a crucial and versatile resource that played a huge role in powering the Industrial Revolution, serving as both fuel for lamps and as a lubricant…

September 1: Industrial Genius Elisha K. Root Dies in Hartford

  The man at the root of Connecticut’s 19th century industrial greatness – Elisha King Root – died in Hartford on this day in 1865. Root’s machine tool genius revolutionized axe production in Collinsville and the Colt Firearms Company in Hartford an worldwide icon of precision manufacturing. Born in western Massachusetts in 1808, Root became…

August 23: Famous Aviator Wiley Post Visits Connecticut

  Today in 1933, Wiley Post, one of the most famous pilots in the world, flew into Hartford’s Brainard Field, just a few weeks after completing a record-breaking solo flight around the world. In the 1930s, Wiley Post was a household name second only to Charles Lindbergh in terms of famous American aviators.  Post, a…

August 5: The Statue of Liberty’s Connecticut Cornerstone

  While scores of Connecticut men and women have left an indelible mark on American history, sometimes it’s easy to forget that objects from Connecticut can have their own stories of national significance, too. In fact, some of the most monumental objects in Connecticut history can be traced to a single point of origin: a…

June 12: Celebrating Meriden’s Centennial

  On this day in 1906, three parades commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Meriden, Connecticut took place throughout the city.  A parade of automobiles, with prizes to be awarded for “the handsomest decorated autos of any class,” filled the center of town, followed by patriotic ceremonies, horse races, and athletic competitions at…

May 13: Pope Manufacturing Co. Debuts Electric Automobile in 1897

  On this date in 1897, outside his factory in Hartford, successful bicycle manufacturer Albert Augustus Pope unveiled what he considered to be the future of the automobile industry: the battery-powered Columbia Motor Carriage.  It was the first demonstration of a mass-produced electric car in American history. Weighing in at 1800 pounds and reaching a…

April 25: Winchester Arms Company Founded in New Haven

  In early 1857, businessman Oliver Winchester bought a controlling interest in a struggling Connecticut firearms company from two inventors by the name of Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson (who would soon move to Massachusetts to found a second and much more successful firearms venture of their own).  With access to a number of patents,…