What do Frisbees, electric toasters, nutmeg grinders, and the curve ball all all have in common? Each one is among the many and varied Connecticut inventions. “We are a small state with a large history,” according to the curator of education at Connecticut State Museum of History, Patrick Smith. During this presentation entitled Connecticut Sampler, Patrick shared all sorts of fun and interesting facts about our home state.
A small state Connecticut is, yet we have a large number of nicknames, such as the Nutmeg State, Constitution State, the Land of Steady Habits and even, the Inventions State. Quinnetukut, an Algonquin term meaning “long tidal river” gave us our official name. Adriean Block first came upon Connecticut in 1614, completely by accident. His ship had caught fire, causing him to build a new one – the first ship ever built on these shores by a non-indigenous person. He decided to test out his new vessel, which he named Restless, before attempting the journey back to Holland and so, he sailed from Manhattan out into Long Island Sound, eventually making his way up the Connecticut River. Bringing to light the news of this exceptionally fertile, resource-rich part of the world, this was the beginning of early settlement and colonization.
Patrick Smith made history come to life for the hour he had with us, encouraging everyone to be curious and to notice all there is to discover. Just as many New Yorkers may never have visited the Statue of Liberty, many of us Connecticut residents may never have noticed just how much history, all quite easily accessible, there is to learn about this unique state we call home.