Connecticut established a thriving industrial complex in the colonial period, largely because its fast-flowing streams and waterfalls could easily be harnessed for power. Nails were produced early in the 1700s, and brass making was introduced in 1749. Weapons manufactured in Connecticut were used to fight the British during the American Revolution. In the 1790s the state was known for its hats (made in Danbury) and timepieces (made primarily in Watertown). Connecticut resident Eli Whitney developed the cotton gin, which rapidly separated the seeds from cotton and made its cultivation, and the production of cotton cloth, economical. The state’s armaments industry was an important supplier of firearms during World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945), and the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine was launched from a Connecticut shipyard in 1954.
The leading manufacturing industries in Connecticut in the 2000s produced industrial machinery, transportation equipment, and chemicals and related products. Industrial machinery included computers, office machines, ball and roller bearings, turbines, and engines. Makers of transportation equipment concentrate particularly on helicopters, aircraft engines, propellers, ships, and submarines. Among the key chemicals and related products are pharmaceuticals and soaps. Other Connecticut firms engage in developing surgical and medical instruments, process control devices, measuring equipment, and optical instruments and lenses.
Another important industry has been metal fabrication, including the manufacture of small arms and ordnance, hardware and hand tools, and cutlery. Connecticut’s principal manufacturing centers are Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, Stamford, New London, New Britain, Norwalk, Danbury, and Meriden.
Some of them are traditionally noted for a single product, but all produce numerous other goods as well. New Britain is known particularly for hardware and Bristol for specialty electrical equipment and mechanical springs. Groton produces submarines for the United States Navy. "Connecticut" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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