Brief History of Bridgeport
Fairfield County, Connecticut
1775-1783 – the American Revolutionary War.
1800 – the town was incorporated as a borough and named Bridgeport for the first drawbridge over the river.
1807 – the federal government purchased 9 1/2 acres on Fayerweather Island from David Fayerweather.
1808 – the first Fayerweather Island Lighthouse built on the south end of the island.
1821 – the town of Bridgeport incorporated.
1836 – the city of Bridgeport incorporated.
1840 – the railroad arrived. Bridgeport produced carriages, brass and cast-iron fittings, sewing machines, tools, saddlery, and ammunition.
1842 -- P. T. Barnum discovers his Tom Thumb in Bridgeport. He later had a home in Bridgeport called Iranistan.
1851-1853 -- P. T. Barnum spent most of his time in Bridgeport, with frequent visits to New York City
1851 -- Barnum tried to found a new city across from Bridgeport known as East Bridgeport.
1857 -- Iranistan burned to the ground.
1859 -- Barnum returned from abroad to Bridgeport.
1860 -- Barnum built a house in Bridgeport, next to that of his daughter Caroline and not far from the ruins of his previous house Iranistan.
1861-1865 – the American Civil War.
1867 – the Remington Corporation's global headquarters was created when the Union Metallic Cartridge Company was incorporated.
1875 -- P. T. Barnum, Republican mayor of Bridgeport. He made Bridgeport into a major manufacturing center and he improved the steamboat industry in the city.
1876 (April) -- Barnum's mayoral term ended.
1883 – Barnum went to England and purchased the huge elephant called "Jumbo" for his circus. But the star attraction was Charles S. Stratton, "General Tom Thumb" (who was born in Bridgeport).
1896 – Harvey Hubbell patented the first electric light socket with a pull chain.
1912 – creation of the Remington Union Metallic Cartridge Company. (Remington is now known for its electric razors)
1927 – the University of Bridgeport founded.
By the 1930s – the town had almost 500 manufacturing firms.
1933 – socialist Jasper McLevy was elected mayor. He served for 24 years. He brought into the town Elias Howe and his Singer sewing machines and the Barnum Museum.
1941-1945 – American participation in World War II.
1966 – Housatonic Community-Technical College founded.
NIKE bases (dismantled in the early 90’s) were built to protect the city.
late 20th century – Bridgeport remained a manufacturing center, producing electrical and transportation equipment, plastics, and machine tools.
Today – the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company provides daily ferry service between Bridgeport and Port Jefferson, Long Island.
Bridgeport has been hurt by the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs. In addition to unemployment, Bridgeport has problems with pollution, drugs, and crime in its inner-city neighborhoods.
The City of Bridgeport. http://amerilandrealty.com/town/?town=bridgeport
Joel Benton. Life of Hon. Phineas T. Barnum. Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/BenLife.html
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