Connecticut Firsts


1639 -- first constitution adopted, establishing representative government


1656 -- first municipal public library in America, a bequest to the "towne of New Haven"

1670 -- first survey for the first turnpike in America, between Norwich and New London

1729 -- first medical diploma, granted by Yale University

1764 -- first newspaper, The Hartford Courant, published since October 29, 1764

1775 -- first submarine

1783 -- first dictionary, published by Noah Webster, born in West Hartford

1784 -- first law school in America, Litchfield Law School; Graduates included John C. Calhoun, Aaron Burr, Horace Mann, Oliver Wolcott, Jr. and Noah Webster

1788 -- first State House in America, built after the Federal Constitution ratification

1794 -- first cotton gin, Eli Whitney of New Haven patented this invention

1803 -- first town library, tax-supported and organized in Salisbury

1806 -- first factory town in America, planned and established in Seymour

1808 -- first movable parts mass production in use, making clocks

1810 -- first insurance company, ITT Hartford Group, Inc. Officially opened for business and people were able to take insurance for the "loss of life or personal injury while journeying by railway or steamboat"

1819 -- first industrial training school, established by Josiah Holbrook in Derby

1836 -- first revolver

1842 -- first public art museum

1843 -- first portable typewriter

1844 -- first use of anesthesia

1846 -- first sewing machine, Elias Howe procured a patent for the first practical sewing machine in 1846

1853 -- first ice-making machine

1858 -- first can opener

1861 -- first Ph.D. Degree, Yale University awarded in Philosophy

1868 -- first tape measure

1877 -- first pay phone

1877 -- first telephone exchange, established in Bridgeport

1892 -- first collapsible toothpaste tube

1895 -- first hamburger, served at Louie's Lunch in New Haven

1900 -- first submarine

1907 -- first permanent public planning body in America, Hartford's Commission on the City Plan

1908 -- first lollipop

1920 -- first Frisbee, Yale students discovered empty pie plates from Mrs. Frisbie Pies in Bridgeport could fly across the New Haven Green

1933 -- first vacuum cleaner

1934 -- first Polaroid camera

1939 -- first FM radio station, WDRC-FM began broadcasting in Hartford

1939 -- first helicopter, Igor Sikorsky designed the first successful helicopter in the Western Hemisphere

1948 -- first color television

1949 -- first ultra high frequency UHF television station to operate on a daily basis, KC2XAK in Bridgeport

1954 -- first nuclear submarine, launched in New London

1982 -- first artificial heart, Dr. Robert K. Jarvik, a Stamford native, invented the world's first artificial heart