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The Top 10 Connecticut Inventions

April 12, 2021 2:05 pm

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Have you ever wondered, “What things were invented in Connecticut?” Connecticut may be small but it’s rich in history and was the birthplace of many great firsts, inventions, and cultural developments.

From literary firsts to life-changing inventions, here is a list of things have originated in Connecticut, the home of the first three Delamar hotels.

1) The American English Dictionary

That’s right! Noah Webster, author of An American Dictionary of the English Language, was a Hartford Native. The original dictionary took 26 years to complete and contained more than 65,000 words and definitions. You can still visit his home-turned-museum to learn about his life and legacy. 

2) Lollipops

George Smith, owner of a confectionery company called the Bradley Smith Company, is credited with inventing the modern version of the lollipop which he began making in 1908 in New Haven. Although the word “lollipop” is a generic term today, it was initially patented by and registered to the Bradley Smith Company. 

3) The Frisbee

You didn’t see this one coming, did you? Who was the first to come up with the invention is a topic for hot debate. But according to legend, Yale University students would toss and catch empty pie tins from The Frisbie Pie Company while yelling “Frisbie.” This game was picked up by students on nearby college campuses and the rest is history. 

4) Polaroid

In an era of selfies and smartphones, Polaroids have suddenly become fashionable again, especially for weddings. But did you know that the first Polaroid camera was invented right here in Connecticut? Edwin Land, born in Bridgeport, was the co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation and is credited with inventing the Polaroid Camera in 1947. 

5) The Cotton Gin

Eli Whitney attended Yale University and lived in New Haven, where he worked on his invention. The cotton gin—a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds—changed the course of American history, speeding the way for the Industrial Revolution.

After its invention, the yield of raw cotton increased significantly each decade after 1800, but so did the demand for a slave-labor force. The invention had a profound effect on the social and economic conditions of the South leading up to the Civil War.

6) The Hamburger

A staple of American cuisine, the Hamburger was first served by Louis Lassen in 1900 from his New Haven lunch wagon. Answering a customer’s rush order for something “quick and delicious,” Lassen sandwiched broiled, ground beef between toasted bread slices and offered it to the customer as a new creation. This new sandwich grew into the national phenomenon that it is today. 

Louis’ Lunch is still in operation today at 263 Crown Street in New Haven. Stop by and try the original burger served on white toast with only cheese, onion, and tomato as garnishes. 

7) The Can Opener

Ezra J. Warner of Waterbury invented and patented his design of a can opener back in 1858. Considering the fact that canned food started to be sold almost half a century earlier, we can only imagine what a hassle it must have been to open cans before this invention!

8) The Submarine

While studying at Yale in 1775, Saybrook, CT native David Bushnell created the first submarine ever used in combat. Calling it the “Turtle,” Bushnell trained a man named Ezra Lee to pilot the submarine into New York Harbor and attempt to bomb a British Warship anchored in the bay. While all attempts failed and the “Turtle” was sunk by the British, Bushnell became the man responsible for the first submarine warfare. 

9) The Constitution

There’s a reason we’re known as the “The Constitution State”. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, established in January 1639, was the first written constitution in North America and served as an example for The Constitution of the United States almost 100 years later.

10) Vulcanized Rubber

While this may not seem as significant as the Hamburger or the American dictionary, this is one invention that we rely on every day. This kind of rubber is stabilized and used for car tires. It was invented by Charles Goodyear, who was born in New Haven in 1800. By treating rubber with chemicals, Goodyear made rubber that was more durable, waterproof and had resistance to rust, corrosion, and mold. 

The Delamar Hotels

We can’t talk about things that originated in Connecticut without mentioning the Delamar hotels. Our first hotel, Delamar Greenwich Harbor, opened its doors in October 2002, providing Fairfield County with much-needed luxury accommodations. Our other two hotels in West Hartford and Southport embraced the unique boutique qualities of the Delamar brand, offering a sense of luxury, comfort, and escape. All of our hotels include award-winning restaurants, as well as full-service Spas to provide our guests with relaxation and comfort. 

Our Delamar family looks forward to welcoming you and your loved ones to our hotels!