Waterbury, Conn., is the Birmingham of America, as it regards the kind and extent of its manufacture. It is situated in the beautiful valley of the Naugatuck, embosomed among the hills, built on an extensive scale, affording room for gardens, shrubbery, trees, &c, in connection with the dwellings, and a public square in-tVifi centre.. This town was settled in 1677. For thirty years previous to the introduction of manufactures, the population rather diminished. The first water-wheel was put in motion about the beginning of the present century. For a number of years the manufacture ot clocks was the principal business of the place. In 1802 the manufacture of gilt buttons was commenced, a business which has tended to develope the resources of the town. In 1810 the manufacture of woolen goods was introduced,and in 1837 that of the lasting or covered button. There are now over thirty companies, embracing more than two millions and a half of capital, engaged in the manufacture of brass, copper, plated metal, German silver, suspenders, and webbing, hosiery, cutlery, felt cloth, pins, hooks and eyes, buttons, umbrella trimmings, files, dressed leather, buckles, shawl pins,jew-elry, &c, and in the mercantile business, connected with them. The town contains seven thousand inhabitants. It has its water-works, furnishing the sparkling pure water from a spring on the hill, so high as to run in the upper stories of the hotels. It has also its gas works and other appendages of our sea-board cities. By the news from various places we perceive that the heat has been nearly as oppres, sive as in New York City, but not so fatal because there is such an eternal driving in sunshine and storm here, to advance in the world of evil spirits. To a weak mind a name is of more consequence than the thing itself. This has been manifested by one of our cotemporaries, by an exhibition of spleen against the People's College, because it was not named an " Industrial School." A correspondent in a cotemporary in writing about navigating the"air, says, "if it is within nature's law, it is practicable at the present moment, if not it is impossible."— Bright idea this ; ask the birds if it is within nature's law; and John Wise if it is possible. Two young men in Danvers, Mass., recently pegged 160 pairs of women's shoes in ten hours. One Alex. Steel pegged 82 pairs, J. Bunker, the challenger, 78 pairs—beat by 4.
This article was originally published with the title "The Birmingham of America" in Scientific American 8, 49, 387 (August 1853)