“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Danbury in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)

Inventions & Innovations

– The Museum in the Streets –


— Danbury, Connecticut —

Inventions & Innovations Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, December 30, 2013
1. Inventions & Innovations Marker
Over 300 patents were issued to residents of Danbury between 1800 and 1890, one of the earliest was issued to D. Hoyt in 1838 for a door hinge.
Many inventions can be attributed to progress and practical conveniences including an oven, a clothes wringer, and a refrigerator. Patents were also issued for items such as a banjo, a billiard cue tip, moccasins, a pedicycle and a soda water apparatus.
Two local women are also among those given to 19th century inventions. In 1872, Elizabeth Balmforth, for whom Balmforth Avenue was named, received a patent for her portable balcony invention. Patent number 316414 for a hat tip sewing machine went to Emma Swartout in 1885.
Inventions related to the hat making industry fueled the worldwide success and reputation of two local businesses.
Turner Machine Company had factories in Danbury and England with offices in Barcelona, Berlin, Melbourne, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Vienna and Warsaw. In addition to fur and wool hat machinery, the firm manufactured wood blocks, hatters tools and New York City subway cars.
Doran Brothers held several patents for machines related to hat manufacturing.
Inventions & Innovations Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, December 30, 2013
2. Inventions & Innovations Marker
The company survived the decline of the hatting industry by developing machinery for defense needs and components for the space program.
With the decline of hat manufacturing, companies have emerged that were, and still are, responsible for innovations in the fields of alternative energy, pharmaceuticals and technology.
In 1990, Perkin-Elmer partnered with NASA to design and manufacture the central mirror of the Hubble Space Telescope. Now under the auspices of Goodrich, this local venture into the aerospace industry has transformed astronomy for years to come.
Danbury remains a haven for creative, industrious minds. There is no doubt that new ideas are on the drawing board each and every day.
Erected by Danbury Museum & Historical Society. (Marker Number 30.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 41° 23.401′ N, 73° 27.167′ W. Marker is in Danbury, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker is on Deer Hill Avenue near Wooster Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 137 Deer Hill Avenue, Danbury CT 06810, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Farming & Agriculture (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Country Lanes & City Streets (about 300 feet
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away); Industrial Strength Danbury (about 600 feet away); 19th & 20th Century Immigrants (about 600 feet away); Diversity in Danbury (about 600 feet away); Early Arrivals (about 700 feet away); Monumental Moments (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Sporting Life (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danbury.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 426 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 19, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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Jan. 22, 2021