Introduction to New Britain, Connecticut
The city of New Britain, located at the geographic center of Connecticut, is part of Hartford County. Considered a suburb of Hartford by some, New Britain lies only about 9 miles southwest of the Connecticut state capital. Serviced by U.S. Route 6 and Connecticut State Highways 9 and 72, the city is afforded direct access to Interstate Highways I-84 and I-91 and is about two hours away from both Boston and New York. New Britain is home to Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) and Charter Oak State College.
Incorporated as a city in 1871, New Britain saw its industrial identity defined in the late 19th century when Frederick Stanley incorporated The Stanley Works and was soon followed by Corbin Locks and other major manufacturers. By the early 20th century, New Britain became known as the "Hardware City," having become America's largest hardware manufacturing center. Still the home of the Stanley Works, New Britain today retains its economic focus on manufacturing but supplements it with an eye towards technology.
New Britain Attractions
The New Britain Museum of American Art, founded in 1903, carries the distinction as the first museum of strictly American art in the country. Its large catalogue of American works of art is housed in the comfortable spaces of a 1907 residence. The New Britain Youth Museum, founded in 1956, encourages children and their families to learn Connecticut history and explore aspects of state and world cultures. The New Britain Industrial Museum chronicles the development of New Britain industry and houses a collection of its products, such as tools, ball bearings, kitchen appliances, and architectural hardware dating back to 1812. The Copernican Observatory and Planetarium at CCSU offers a variety of shows themed around planets, stars, constellations, and other astronomical topics.
New Britain is also home to a variety of creative, performing and visual arts. Some examples of these are:
- New Britain Chorale
- Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra
- New Britain Symphony Orchestra
- Black Box Theatre at CCSU
- Hole in the Wall Theater
- Repertory Theatre of New Britain
- Greater New Britain Opera Association
- Thaddeus L. Torp Theatre at CCSU
Sports fans in New Britain can treat themselves to quality professional baseball. The city is home to the New Britain Rock Cats, a Minor League Baseball Double-A team affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. The Rock Cats play their Eastern League games at the friendly confines of the Willow Brook Park Sports Complex. Only minutes away is the city of Hartford, home to hockey's Hartford Wolf Pack, an American Hockey League (AHL) team affiliated with the National Hockey League's New York Rangers. Baseball fanatics can find even more of their sport by traveling a half-hour south to New Haven, home of the New Haven Cutters, an independent team in the Can-Am (Canadian-American Association of Pro Baseball) League. New Haven is also home to Yale University and the Yale Bulldogs athletic teams.