The New England Primer

Rare artifacts, CT

1836 Massachusetts Sabbath School Society This little book, first published in Boston ca. 1688, had an outsize impact on history: the Library of Congress named it one of the Books The Shaped America. It was the lesson book that taught generations of colonists to read. Everyone used it – it is estimated that as many…

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Match Boxes

historical artifacts

c. 1870-1890 In the 19th century Woodbridge used to have a number of industries along its waterways, among them a match company founded in 1832 by William A Clark, one of the first people – if not the first person – in America to hold a patent on the friction match. His factory and associated…

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Leather Top Hat & Traveling Case

historical artifacts in ct

ca. 1900 Young Brothers, New York Top hats for men have been worn in the West since the late 18th century and are still de rigeur for the most formal occasions: as an invitation to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, for example, requires gentlemen to wear unadorned top hats of black or grey. When JFK…

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Full Grooved Stone Ax

Dated to between 2500 years ago and the early 1600s This stone ax head was found in Woodbridge. It is a type originally made by local Indigenous people in the Archaic period, between 9000 and 2700 years before present (BP), for cutting trees. A “full grooved” as has the groove (by which the handle was…

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Doll Bed

History of Amity CT

1900-1910 This replica of a traditional rope bed was hand crafted by the grandfather of Mary Catherine Collins (1900-1983). There is a fine example of a full size, authentic rope bed in the children’s bedroom at the Thomas Darling House. In 1924 Mary Catherine married Edward J. Brown, an attorney, and by 1940 the family…

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Bed Key & Peg

History of New Haven CT

18th century The framework of virtually every bed of the 18th century and early 19th century was held together by ropes. A bed key and peg, here made of oak or maple, were used to rope the bed: the ropes were passed through holes in the frame and the key was used to twist and…

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American Poke Bonnet

history of Woodbridge CT

ca. 1840-1880 Poke bonnets were in use for a long period of time, beginning in England early in the 19th century and becoming the general fashion after the 1830s. They featured a brim, often wide, and ribbon decoration, simultaneously flirtatious and modest. A young woman would often use a straw woven base and decorate the…

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Agricultural Fair Trophy


1879 Stamped “Meriden B. [Brittania] Company” “700” Dwight Noyes Clark was a Cattle Broker in the Woodbridge and Bethany area and participated in agricultural fairs around the state. He was awarded this silver trophy for “The Best Collection of Cattle” on October 3rd, 1879, at the New Haven County Agricultural Fair. Meriden Britannia Company had…

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