Come and Visit The Home Of The Mickey Mouse Watch, and So Much More
Waterbury has a long history to tell about.
Waterbury has a long history. Settlers founded it in 1674, in an area which is now known as Town Plot. These days Town Plot is well-known for its Italian culture and is famous for holding a four-day feast every July. Visitors during the feast love the fried dough, pastries, Italian ices, and sofrito sandwiches.
The city of Waterbury took a while to get up and running. There is not much arable land in the area, making it difficult for the early settlers to grow food and raise animals. Constant flooding, along with disease outbreaks, caused trouble. However, by the mid-nineteenth century, Waterbury was a thriving and industrious town. The city became known as the "City of Brass" thanks to its booming brass industry. The industry drew people from a wide geographical area, and Waterbury gained a reputation for high-quality brass production.
A City Of Firsts
Brass is not the only thing Waterbury has to be proud of. The city boasts several "firsts." For example:
- St Joseph's Church, established in 1894, was the first Lithuanian worship community in Connecticut and is the second oldest Lithuanian church in the country.
- Waterbury native Fr. Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus near Waterbury, in New Haven. The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal service order, with nearly 2 million members worldwide.
- One of the first-ever full-length motion pictures with sound was produced in the area by Waterbury native William Henry Bristol. He invented the Bristolphone to record sound and movement simultaneously, and it was used in over 100 cinemas across the country. Bristol also created a pyrometer for recording high temperatures and an audio phone, which changed the face of public address systems. Bristol is one of Waterbury's most industrious sons – he was awarded almost 100 patents in his life.
- Victor Zembruski's Polish Eagles radio show was first broadcast on Waterbury Radio Station. The show is now known as The Zembruski Family Polka Hour, and it is one of the longest-running shows on American radio.
- Dr. Anthony Vastola formed the nation's first Unico Club in Waterbury in 1922. The Unico Club, whose name is Italian for Unique, is now the country's largest Italian-American service organization.
A City Of Clocks
Another thing Waterbury is famed for is its history of clock making and its magnificent clock tower!
The brass makers Benedict and Burnham formed the Waterbury Clock Company in 1854. The Company made a significant impact on the clock making industry in North America:
- At one point, it was the largest maker of clocks for both national and international sales.
- They invented the Jumbo watch (based on P. T. Barnum's famous elephant) as a cheaper alternative to pricey clocks. The Jumbo was first trialed in New York City, where it caught the attention of Robert H. Ingersoll.
- The Company supplied Ingersoll's Robert H. Ingersoll & Bro Company with the Ingersoll Yankee. The Yankee was a one-dollar pocket watch that became so popular it was nicknamed "the watch that made the dollar famous."
- In the 1930s, they partnered with Walt Disney to produce the famous Mickey Mouse watch. Waterbury unveiled the watch at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933, and it quickly became immensely popular. Waterbury had struggled financially before making the watch due to unscrupulous salespeople flogging their watches as loss leaders and plunging the company into the red. The Mickey Mouse watch became their first million-dollar selling line and turned the Company's future around.
The Waterbury Clock Company eventually became the Timex Group USA, one of the world's best-known timepiece manufacturers.
While you are exploring Waterbury's clock-related history, do not forget to stop by the Union Station Clock Tower. The station is now home to Waterbury's daily newspaper, but its impressive clock tower still stands tall. At 254 ft high, the tower dominates the Waterbury skyline and can be seen for miles around. The tower features a clock face on each side, with 5 ft tall Roman numerals. The tower is also adorned with fierce she-wolf gargoyles.
Waterbury Knows How Devastating Fire Can Be
Unfortunately, in a large city with many industrial companies, accidents are bound to happen from time to time. In 1902, Waterbury's downtown area suffered a terrible fire that destroyed many businesses.
The fire began around 6:30 in the evening, and because there were high winds that day, it spread quickly throughout the downtown district. Some of the businesses lost that night were:
- Davis' Cigar Store
- A Salvation Army Barracks
- A Turkish Bathhouse
- Reid & Hughes Dry Goods Store
- Cannon & Webster's Drug Store
The fire claimed 42 buildings before the firefighters could extinguish it, and it is the worst fire in Waterbury history. The blaze crossed streets and leaped from building to building, causing $2 million worth of damage.
Although there are still some surviving buildings from before the fire, much of downtown required rebuilding. As a result, the current downtown area is an eclectic mix of styles from the 19th and 20th centuries.
SERVPRO Is Faster To Any Size Disaster
If your home suffers fire damage, you need a fire damage cleanup crew that is prompt and reliable. That is why SERVPRO is Faster To Any Size Disaster – we aim to arrive within four hours of your first call.
Fire can damage a buildings in many ways. There is structural damage, such as burned beams, supports, and insulation. The roof or floor might be left unstable.
There is also soot damage, which can be hard to eradicate. Soot is caused by incomplete combustion of materials during a fire, which leaves behind a sticky black residue. Some soot is powdery and easy to brush away, but some soot is much stickier and more tenacious. If the fire is in the kitchen, there may be protein soot, which is the most noxious and challenging residue type to clean.
Our teams are equipped to handle fire damage of every kind. We begin by making sure the area is stable and safe to work in, and we take care of immediate issues such as the need to put a tarp over the roof. Then we set to work scrubbing and brushing away the soot until your home is clean.
For a fire damage cleanup service you can trust, call SERVPRO of Waterbury at (203) 757-5050.