August 11: A New Haven Piano Maker Patents the Automatic Fire Sprinkler System

  As the Industrial Revolution fueled the growth of American cities at an unprecedented rate during the 19th century, the risk of urban fires increased in turn — especially in an era that preceded building and fire codes.  In response to the increase in fire-related damage claims, insurance rates for inner-city businesses skyrocketed in the…

July 23: Joseph Schick Patents a New Safety Razor

  On this day in 1929, former U.S. Army Colonel Joseph Schick, then residing in Stamford, Connecticut, patented a new type of safety razor that made shaving quicker, easier, and more affordable, and fueled the creation of one of America’s most recognizable personal hygiene brands. Born in 1877, Schick served in both the Spanish-American War…

July 14: A Tale of Two Tape Measures

  On July 14, 1868, Alvin Fellows of New Haven, Connecticut received a patent for his unique spring-loaded, locking tape measure design.  While Fellows certainly wasn’t the first to conceive of using demarcated strips of metal tape as a measuring tool, his unique design featured significant improvements over previous tape measures and was the first…