The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Oddly Enough

January 21, 2014

It's where cattle branding began (but on pigs)

20 facts you need to know before visiting Connecticut

1. The first telephone book ever issued contained only 50 names. The New Haven District Telephone Co. published it in New Haven in February 1878.

2. The USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear powered submarine was built in Groton in 1954.

3. Connecticut and Rhode Island never ratified the 18th Amendment (Prohibition).

4. In 1705, copper was discovered in Simsbury. Later, the copper mine became the infamous New-Gate Prison of the Revolutionary War. Dr. Samuel Higley of Simsbury started the first copper coinage in America in 1737.

5. The Scoville Memorial Library is the United States oldest public library. The library collection began in 1771, when Richard Smith, owner of a local blast furnace, used community contributions to buy 200 books in London. Patrons could borrow and return books on the third Monday of every third month. Fees were collected for damages, the most common being "greasing" by wax dripped from the candles by which the patrons read.

6. On April 9, 1810, a Salisbury town meeting voted to authorize the "selectmen draw upon the town treasurer for the sum of one hundred dollars" to purchase more books for the Scoville Memorial Library collection, making the library the first publicly supported free town library in the United States.

7. Mary Kies, of South Killingly was the first woman to receive a U.S. patent. On May 15th, 1809 for a method of weaving straw with silk.

8. On January 28, 1878, 21 venturous citizens of New Haven became the world's first subscribers to telephone exchange service.

9. America's first trade association was founded in Naugatuck Valley.

10. Cattle branding in the United States began in Connecticut when farmers were required by law to mark all of their pigs.

11. In Hartford, you may not, under any circumstances, cross the street walking on your hands!

12. Connecticut is home to the oldest U.S. newspaper still being published: The Hartford Courant, established in 1764.

13. Connecticut has approximately 144 newspapers published in the state (daily, Sunday, weekly and monthly).

14. Connecticut is home to the first hamburger (1895), Polaroid camera (1934), helicopter (1939), and color television (1948).

15. The first automobile law was passed by the state in 1901. The speed limit was set at 12 mph.

16. The first lollipop-making machine opened for business in New Haven in 1908. George Smith named the treat after a popular racehorse.

17. Ella Grasso was elected in her own right to be a state governor in 1974.

18. In 1937, Connecticut became the first state to issue permanent license plates for cars.

19. The World Wrestling Federation or the WWF is headquartered in Stamford.

20. Bristol is considered the "Mum City" of the USA because of the many Chrysanthemums grown and sold to various states and Canada.

 

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