Connecticut History 1800's

Researching the history of Connecticut from the 1800's could help you to understand what was going on at the time that the old coins, you found metal detecting, were lost. We always find ourself wondering how the coin got there, and how it possibly could have gotten lost during the Industrial Revolution and the depression that followed, especially when money was so scarce. By the early 1800's farming was still a major occupation here in Connecticut, and they sent the produce to markets, but as the factories went up with their promises of riches, more and more farmers left their farming jobs, to find out they were stuck in a situation that was neither lucrative or beneficial to them.

What about the old bottles and non metal things we find and also the old brass buttons. Even Civil War relics are found such as musketballs and buttons? If you check out the US History Coin Timeline, you can compare the mintage dates to these dates.

1800's American History Timeline - Connecticut

1800's - insurance companies expand to cover fire and marine; early wool and cotton manufacturing;
increased demand for food - commercial agriculture begins; early 1800's steamboat became popular mode of travel

1800's - Cost of living in the 1800's - One bag of flour $1.80 - Small measure of potatoes daily at .17 per day = $1.19 - One quarter pound of tea .38 - One quart of milk .56 - One pound of cheap coffee .35 - Three and one half pounds Sugar $1.05 - One half ration of meats per week $3.50 - Four pounds of butter $1.60 - Two pounds of lard .38 - Dried apples for treats .25 - Vegetables .50 - Soap, starch, pepper, salt, vinegar, etc. $1.00 - 2 bushels of coal $1.36 - Kerosene .30 - Sundries .28 - Rent $4.00 week = Total $18.50

Wages in the 1800s

The average wage earner only made $16.00 a week. Some trades only made two, three, four, or six dollars a week. The family above spent $2.50 more a week than the father made, and had nothing left for entertainment or clothing. The men driving the horse drawn streetcars in New York in the 1880's made $1.75 a day working 14 to 16 hr. a day.

1802 - Brass industry began at Waterbury; beginning of packaged seed industry in Enfield
- Noah Webster publishes A Comendious Dictionary
- Joel Barlow's The Colombiad (Vision of Columbus) published
- Danbury manufacturing hats; The Hartford - Founded in 1810 as the Hartford Fire Insurance Co.
- War of 1812: Connecticut's resistance to the war

- British blockade of CT ports because of first submarine attack: blockade stopped the shipping industry.

- 2 attacks; raid on Pettipaug Point in Essex, and on Stonington, role of General William Hull and Captain Isaac Hull; the Hartford Convention

1816 - formation of Domestic Missionary Society
- Oliver Wolcott Jr. elected governor; beginning of downfall of the Federalists;
1817 - Thomas Gallaudet founded school for deaf in Hartford.
- drafting and adoption of the new state Constitution
- democratic party started

1830's - children recruited to work in factories, sunup to sundown

1840 - railroading begins
1840's, 1850's - New London 3rd among whaling ports; shipbuilding industry centered in Mystic (on site of Mystic seaport)
1840's - women are recruited from the farms to work in the city factories with promises of riches which was a myth

1847 - silverplate manufacturing - Rogers Brothers at Meridan

1848 - slavery abolished; Naugatuck Valley, Ansonia, brass buttons made for Civil War

1851 - Isaac M. Singer patents his invention of the Singer Sewing machine.

- 4 CT firms producing 400,000 rolled brass clocks a year

1860 - first water system and fountain in New Britain
- First shot fired Ft. Sumter; hundreds of thousands of workers left factories and took up arms

1867 - horrible conditions in factories for working women

- Depression hits the colonies
- Women getting 6 cents for each shirt they made
1870 - US Census shows 700,000 children ages 10 to 15 working

1874 to1879 -workers not allowed to speak to each other in factories

1875 - workers fed up with conditions and pay in factories
1877 - Columbia Bicycles - Founded in 1877 by Col. Albert Pope. Mass production began at the Weed Sewing Machine Company factory on Capitol Avenue. The company is now headquarted in Westfield, Mass.

1880 - New Haven still has horse trolleys; late 1880's electric trolley in Hartford1880's - people working 14 to 16 hrs a day at average pay of $1.75 a day
- Industry becomes bigger and more mechanized; skilled craftsmen become obsolete
- The Strong Fire Arms Company was organized in February of 1884 making parade cannons.

- people still dress up for picnics at Fenwick Park Grove, Saybrook
- Blizzard of 1888.
- wages - workers in factories making between 5 cents and 20 cents an hour Note: the 1890's were called the Gay Nineties(for the rich)

1890's - bicycling begins in full swing
- still had gas lamps on streets
- Bridgeport CT Harbor - so cold it froze and people could walk over to lighthouse on Long Island

1895 - Connecticut River overflowed its banks

1896 - The first electric light socket with a pull chain was patented by Harvey Hubbell of Bridgeport, CT.

1900 - US Census shows 5 million women working, 2 million still in domestic services
- US Census shows 2 million children working, half were girls

Origin of Labor Day

As the Industrial Revolution took hold of the nation, the average American in the late 1800s worked 12-hour days, seven days a week in order to make a basic living. Children were also working, as they provided cheap labor to employers and laws against child labor were not strongly enforced. With the long hours and terrible working conditions, American unions became more prominent and voiced their demands for a better way of life.

On Tuesday September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers marched from city hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first-ever Labor Day parade. Participants took an unpaid day-off to honor the workers of America, as well as vocalize issues they had with employers. As years passed, more states began to hold these parades, but Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later.

On May 11, 1894, workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago struck to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. They sought support from their union led by Eugene V. Debs and on June 26 the American Railroad Union called a boycott of all Pullman railway cars. Within days, 50,000 rail workers complied and railroad traffic out of Chicago came to a halt.

On July 4, President Grover Cleveland dispatched troops to Chicago. Much rioting and bloodshed ensued, but the government's actions broke the strike and the boycott soon collapsed. Debs and three other union officials were jailed for disobeying the injunction. The strike brought worker's rights to the public eye and Congress declared, in 1894, that the first Monday in September would be the holiday for workers, known as Labor Day.