All About: New Britain

Population: Approx. 71,250

County: Hartford

Size: 13.4 square miles

History: Settled in 1687 New Britain was then incorporated under the name New Britain Society in 1754. Then, as if they had nothing else to do, in 1850 New Britain was made a township and in 1871 a city. At some point New Britain split from the neighboring town town of Berlin, Connecticut.

In 1843 Frederick Trent Stanley opened Stanley’s Bolt Manufactory in New Britain to make among other things, bolts. His cousin Henry Stanley opened The Stanley Rule and Level Company in 1857 also in New Britain, which was just a mere township, if you’ve been paying attention. In 1920 the two companies merged. The Stanley Rule and Level Company became the Hand Tools Division of modern day Stanley Works.

The Stanleys are evidently responsible for the city’s nick-name “The Hardware City” though we’re not sure how that degenerated into “Hard Hittin New Britain.” So until someone steps forward to claim invention of that nick-name, we at The CuT are taking full credit.

As for whose responsible for New Britain’s huge Polish population, no one is really sure, though the abundance of poles lead to the city’s other famous nick-name, “New Britski.”

Something Weird:

In 1895 “dribbling,” a practice used in the game of basketball, was developed at New Britain YMCA. Now the only dribbling being practiced in the YMCA is illicit hook-ups in the men’s shower room. The New Britain YMCA also saw the development of the game racquet ball.

Much to Christina Crawford’s dismay, I’m sure, O. A. North of New Britain, Connecticut,  invented the wire coat hanger 1869.