New Britain - Encyclopedia

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NEW BRITAIN, a city of Hartford county, Connecticut, U.S.A., near the centre of the state, about 9 m. S.W. of the city of Hartford; land area 13.09 sq. m. in 1906. Pop. (1890) of the township, including the city, 19,007; of the city, 16,519; (1900) of the township, including the city, 28,202; of the city, 2 5,99 8, of whom 9293 were foreign-born, including 1869 Irish and 1811 Swedes, who have a weekly published here; (1910 census) 43,916. It is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway, and by several inter-urban electric railways. The city is the seat of a state normal school, and has a free public library, formerly the New Britain Institute, and a public park of about loo acres. New Britain is an important manufacturing centre; its principal products are hardware, cutlery and edge tools, hosiery, and foundry and machine shop products. In 1905 the capital invested in manufacturing was $19,979,712 (an increase of 45.1% since 1900) and the value of the factory products was $14,959,543 (an increase of 34.8%). More than one-half of the product-value was in hardware ($7,537,625).

New Britain, which was settled in 1687, was originally a part of the township of Farmington. On account of ecclesiastical difficulties the "New Britain Society" - a parish - was organized in 1754. New Britain became a part of Berlin when that township was established in 1785. In 1850 the township of New Britain was incorporated, and in 1871 the city was chartered. By act of the state legislature in 1905 the township of New Britain and the city of New Britain were consolidated; the first election under the new charter was in April 1906. The city was one of the first in the country to build a municipal subway for electric light, telephone and telegraph wires.

See D. N. Camp's History of New Britain (New Britain, 1889).

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