New Haven celebrates its 378th birthday

- FILE - New Haven City Hall (WTNH)


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Director of Photo Archives at the New Haven Museum, Jason Bischoff-Wurstle took us back in time to talk about eight fascinating things that were created in New Haven. Bischoff-Wurstle said, “In 1638 John Brockett laid out the nine square which still to this day is the heart of New Haven and our downtown.”

New Haven set the precedent for the first grid city in North America. Brockett, who was a surveyor started laying out the grid in 1636. The New Haven green still remains at the very center. After the American revolution. “The “Fuggio Cent” was created in 1787 in an effort to tie the original 13 colonies together with a standardized system.

Bischoff-Wurstle told NEWS8, “New Haven was home to Abel Buell who was charged with creating what’s known here in our collection as the Fuggio Cent. It was the first attempt at standardized money.” It was minted in New Haven on Water street but the currency never took off. Another fascinating fact, the Grove Street Cemetery was the first registered cemetery dating back to 1817. In 1844 the Morse Code and Telegraph were invented in New Haven by inventor Samuel Morse he studied at Yale.

Bischoff-Wurstle added, “He believed you could move and sent messages with electricity using different code and a series of dots and dashes.” Another fun fact, the first pedal driven bicycle was unveiled in New Haven in 1866.

“French immigrant Pierre Lallemont rode down from Ansonia on his bicycle as the time and to deliver his patient application and then took a quick spin around the New Haven green startling locals,” said Bischoff-Wurstle.

Telecommunications the way we know it today started in 1878 on State Street in New Haven. Bischoff-Wurstle said, “George Coy, a local telegraph operator here in New Haven created the switch board and started the company the Southern New England Telephone company.” In 1775 Benedict Arnold lived on Water street in new haven and also had a shop there. The original store sign hangs in the New Haven museum. Bischoff-Wurstle said, “He was involved in the West Indies trade and At times he dabbled in pharmacy.”

Noah Webster was the American textbook pioneer. He wrote the American Dictionary at his home on Water street. Bischoff-Wurstle added,”He was the first to document different slangs and the origins of American style speaking and thus giving us what’s known as our dictionary.”

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