kids encyclopedia robot

New Britain, Connecticut facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
New Britain, Connecticut
West Main Street, Downtown New Britain
West Main Street, Downtown New Britain
Flag of New Britain, Connecticut
Official seal of New Britain, Connecticut
New Britski, Hard-Hittin’ New Britain, Hardware City
"Industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey."
Location within Hartford County and Connecticut
Location within Hartford County and Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°40′30″N 72°47′14″W / 41.67500°N 72.78722°W / 41.67500; -72.78722Coordinates: 41°40′30″N 72°47′14″W / 41.67500°N 72.78722°W / 41.67500; -72.78722
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County Hartford
Metropolitan area Hartford
Incorporated (town) 1850
Incorporated (city) 1871
Consolidated 1905
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Total 13.43 sq mi (34.78 km2)
 • Land 13.36 sq mi (34.59 km2)
 • Water 0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)
167 ft (51 m)
 • Total 74,135
 • Estimate 
 • Density 5,428.30/sq mi (2,095.89/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
06050, 06051, 06052, 06053
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-50370
GNIS feature ID 0209217
Major highways I-84.svg Connecticut Highway 9.svg Connecticut Highway 71.svg Connecticut Highway 72.svg
Rapid Transit CTfastrak symbol.svg

New Britain is a city in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. It is located approximately 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Hartford. According to 2020 Census, the population of the city is 74,135.

Among the southernmost of the communities encompassed within the Hartford-Springfield Knowledge Corridor metropolitan region, New Britain is home to Central Connecticut State University and Charter Oak State College. The city was noted for its industry during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and notable sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places include Walnut Hill Park developed by the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and Downtown New Britain.

The city's official nickname is the "Hardware City" because of its history as a manufacturing center and as the headquarters of Stanley Black & Decker. Because of its large Polish population, the city is often playfully referred to as "New Britski."


New Britain was settled in 1687 and then was incorporated as a new parish under the name New Britain Society in 1754. Chartered in 1850 as a township and in 1871 as a city, New Britain had separated from the nearby town of Farmington, Connecticut. A consolidation charter was adopted in 1905.

During the early part of the 20th century, New Britain was known as the "Hardware Capital of the World", as well as "Hardware City". Major manufacturers, such as The Stanley Works, the P&F Corbin Company (later Corbin Locks), and North & Judd, were headquartered in the city.

Postcard: West Main Street, pre-1907.

In 1843 Frederick Trent Stanley established Stanley's Bolt Manufactory in New Britain to make door bolts and other wrought-iron hardware. In 1857 his cousin Henry Stanley founded The Stanley Rule and Level Company in the city. Planes invented by Leonard Bailey and manufactured by the Stanley Rule and Level Company, known as "Stanley/Bailey" planes, were prized by woodworkers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and remain popular among wood craftsmen today. The two companies merged in 1920, and the Stanley Rule and Level Company became the Hand Tools Division of Stanley Works.

The wire coat hanger was invented in 1869 by O. A. North of New Britain. In 1895, the basketball technique of dribbling was developed at the New Britain YMCA. In 1938, New Britain High School competed in the high school football national championship game in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 1954 saw the development of racquetball, also at the YMCA.

City motto

New Britain's motto, Industria implet alveare et melle fruitur – translated from Latin – means "Industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey." This phrase was coined by Elihu Burritt, a 19th-century New Britain resident, diplomat, philanthropist and social activist.

In 2007 it was reported that the Latin word for "honey" in the motto had been a typo for decades; it should be melle, but it had long been misspelled as mele. Former mayor William McNamara, who unsuccessfully tried to fix it during his term, suggested "to either fix the spelling immediately" or "switch to the English version of the motto." As controversy arose from the matter, the word was superseded with the correct spelling, melle.

Geography and topography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.7 km²), of which, 13.3 square miles (34.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.52%) is water.

New Britain's terrain is mostly made up of soft, rolling hills and young Connecticut forest. The many parks are populated with trees, and in small, undeveloped areas, there is also brushy woods. New Britain's streets also have many trees lining the sides of the roads. Many front yards in the northern half of the city have at least one tree. One or two streams flow through New Britain, undisturbed by the development.


Largest ancestries (2010) Percent
Puerto-Rican 29.9%
Polish 17.1%
Italian 9.6%
Irish 8%
German 4.1%
English 3.9%
French-Canadian 3.8%
Haitian 3.1%
Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 11,800
1890 16,519 40.0%
1900 25,998 57.4%
1910 43,916 68.9%
1920 59,316 35.1%
1930 68,128 14.9%
1940 68,685 0.8%
1950 73,726 7.3%
1960 82,201 11.5%
1970 83,441 1.5%
1980 73,840 −11.5%
1990 75,491 2.2%
2000 71,538 −5.2%
2010 73,206 2.3%
2019 (est.) 72,495 −1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

As of the census of 2010, there were 73,153 people. The racial makeup of the city was 47.7% Non-Hispanic White, 36.8% Hispanic or Latino(of any race), 10.9% African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander and 1.9% from two or more races.

There were 29,888 households, out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.2% under the age of 18, 12.5% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.

In 2010 The median income for a household in the city was $35,357, and the median income for a family was $42,056. Males had a median income of $36,848 versus $28,873 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,404. 24.5% of the population below the poverty line (Poverty Rate is 19.2% for White Non-Hispanic residents, 36.8% for Hispanic or Latino residents).

Sites of interest

Grand Street after the mid-March Great Blizzard of 1888
White Fir Tree in Walnut Hill Park, New Britain, CT - June 9, 2011
White Fir Tree in Walnut Hill Park
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • New Britain Little League.
  • New Britain Museum of American Art, the oldest art museum in the United States devoted to American art. It contains a famous and comprehensive art collection from the 18th century to the present.
  • Sudbury School – an independent alternative school.
  • New Britain Industrial Museum, a museum of New Britain's industrial past and present
  • The Hospital of Central Connecticut, the city's largest employer.
  • Walnut Hill Park – Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City.
  • Walnut Hill Rose Garden, the recently restored landmark with over 800 roses.
  • Connecticut Theatre Company, located in the historic Repertory Theatre of New Britain.
  • Hole in the Wall Theater.
  • New Britain Youth Museum, contains children's artifacts and exhibits on regional culture.
  • Stag Arms, a firearms manufacturer.
  • The Polish district or "Little Poland": Located primarily in the vicinity of Broad Street, visitors can find unique amber jewelry, handcrafted items, blown glass, Christmas ornaments, carved chess sets, as well as eat Polish food.

Cultural institutions

New Britain is the home of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra, which was formed in 1948 by several faculty members at the former Teacher’s College, now Central Connecticut State University. The orchestra performed its first concert under the direction of Dr. Etzel Willhoit, President of the College. The orchestra was official organized as the New Britain Symphony Society, Inc. in 1952 by Helen Kilduff, who was at the time the supervisor of music in New Britain’s public schools. Maestro Ertan Seyyar Sener is the current conductor and musical director of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra, a role he assumed during the 2014–2015 concert season.

New Britain is also home to the historic Repertory Theatre. The theatre was originally the Norden Street Lodge. In 1955, a theater group known as the Repertory Theatre of New Britain acquired the Norden Street Lodge. The lodge became known as The Repertory Theatre, as it is to this day. Members of the Repertory Theatre of New Britain sold bonds to theatre members and friends in order to acquire the property. Each year, bondholders received interest on their investment, sometimes reaching as much as 65 cents! Since 1955, at least four theatrical productions have been produced each year in the space. Since 1999, the theatre has also been home to numerous cultural events, children’s theatre and playwriting competitions. There have been notable names to grace the stage, such as Meryl Streep, who was active in children’s theatre at the Repertory Theatre during her time as a student at Yale University.


Connecticut Route 9 is the city's main expressway connecting traffic between Hartford (via I-84 and I-91) and Old Saybrook and Middletown. I-84 itself clips the northwestern corner of the city. Public transportation is provided by Connecticut Transit.

Downtown New Britain serves as the southern terminus of CTfastrak, a bus rapid transit line. Operated by Connecticut Transit, the project officially broke ground in May 2012, and became operational in March 2015. The route's northern terminus is Union Station in Hartford. There are also CTfastrak stations on East Main Street and East Street, the latter near Central Connecticut State University. New Britain is served by Connecticut Transit New Britain.

New Britain has a nearby Amtrak station in adjacent Berlin. The Vermonter (once daily) and Shuttle (multiple daily arrivals/departures) provide service to destinations throughout the northeastern United States. There are also plans underway for a Springfield–Hartford–New Haven commuter rail, which would have Berlin as one of its stations.

Sister cities

East Main St., ca 1911
  • History of New Britain by Camp, New Britain, 1889
  • Legendary Locals of New Britain by Amy Melissa Kirby, 2014
  • A Walk Around Walnut Hill, 1975, by Kenneth Larson
  • New Britain, by Alfred Andrews, 1867
  • A History of New Britain, by Herbert E. Fowler, 1960
  • The Story of New Britain, by Lillian Hart Tryon, 1925
  • Images of America, New Britain, by Arlene Palmer, 1995
  • New Britain, The City of Invention, by Patrick Thibodeau


New Britain is home to the global headquarters of the Fortune 500 manufacturing conglomerate Stanley Black & Decker. Other notable companies headquartered in New Britain include Gaffney, Bennett, and Associates, Tomasso Group, Creed Monarch, Guida's Dairy, and Polamer Precision.

Top employers

According to the City's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 City of New Britain 2,239
2 Hospital of Central Connecticut 1,536
3 Central Connecticut State University 1,450
4 Hospital for Special Care 1,182
5 Stanley Black & Decker 600
6 Webster Bank 599
7 Tilcon Connecticut 553
8 Creed Monarch 300
9 Polamer Precision 249
10 Rich Foods 220


Colleges and universities

The city is home to Central Connecticut State University and Charter Oak State College, a public liberal arts college.

Primary and secondary schools

New Britain Public Schools operates public schools. The local high school is New Britain High School. New Britain is also home to the Mountain Laurel Sudbury School.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford is responsible for the operation of Catholic schools. A Catholic elementary school, Sacred Heart School, is in New Britain. St. Thomas Aquinas High School closed in 1999.

The Holy Cross Catholic School was established in 1954. The Holy Cross, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Joseph Catholic schools merged into Saint John Paul II School in 2006; the Holy Cross parish sponsored the consolidated school. The archdiocese closed the SJP School in 2015. At the time of its closing, SJP school had debts of over $300,000.


  • New Britain Bees, minor league professional baseball team playing in New Britain Stadium.
  • Hartford City FC, professional soccer team playing at CCSU Soccer field.
  • New Britain Fagan Cal Ripken Baseball League, a youth baseball program that serves children from the City of New Britain between the ages of 4 and 12.
  • New Britain Little League (NBLL, previously known as Walicki – A.W. Stanley Little League), a youth baseball and softball organization that serves the children of New Britain who are between the ages of 4 and 16.
  • Connecticut United Football Club, a professional soccer team affiliated with the American Soccer League

Notable people

  • Paul S. Amenta (1922–2014), state senator
  • Anita Antoinette (1989–), reggae singer and songwriter
  • Charles Avedisian (1917–1983), NB Athletic Director (1952–1966), member of 1944 New York Giants team ranked as #1 defensive unit in NFL history
  • Robert S. Barton (1925–2009), computer designer and system architect, inventor of stack architecture
  • Christopher A. Bray, member of the Vermont House of Representatives and Vermont Senate
  • Elihu Burritt (1810–1879), diplomat, philanthropist, social activist, appointed by Abraham Lincoln as U.S. Consul in Birmingham, England
  • Walter Camp (1859–1925), Yale football player and coach, often referred to as the "Father of American Football"
  • Phillip Corbin (1824–1910), founder of P&F Corbin Co. – a major manufacturer of locks and keys
  • Steve Dalkowski (1939–2020), former pitcher in the minor leagues famous for his high speed fastball
  • Daym Drops (1977–), YouTube food reviewer
  • Anna Eshoo (1942–), U.S. Representative of California's 18th congressional district
  • Willie Hall (1949–), linebacker for the Super Bowl XI champion Oakland Raiders; Pulaski High School, University of Southern California
  • Charles K. Hamilton (1881–1914), aviator
  • Harry Jacunski (1915–2003) professional football player with Green Bay Packers, member of Fordham University Seven Blocks of Granite, Yale football coach for 33 years
  • Nancy Johnson (1935–), U.S. Representative for 5th and 6th CT districts (1983–2007)
  • Byron Jones (1992–), NFL player currently free safety for the Dallas Cowboys and unofficial world record holder of the standing long jump
  • Tebucky Jones (1974–), professional football player
  • James Kilbourne (1770-1850), founder of Worthington, Ohio
  • David LaFlamme, virtuoso violinist in both classical and rock music
  • Tony Leone (1969–), rock and jazz drummer
  • Sol LeWitt (1928–2007), Modern artist
  • Bruce H. Mahan, (1930–1982) noted Professor of Chemistry at UC-Berkeley, thesis advisor of Nobel Laureate Y.T. Lee
  • Paul Manafort (1949–), lobbyist, advisor to political campaigns of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Robert Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain and Donald Trump
  • Thomas J. Meskill, (1928–2007) NB Mayor (1962–1964), Governor (1971–1975), appointed by Richard Nixon to the US Court of Appeals for 2nd Circuit (1975–2007)
  • Chris Murphy (1973–), U.S. Congressman for 5th CT district (2007–2013) and U.S. Senator for Connecticut (2013–present)
  • Lamar Odom (1979–), St. Thomas Acquinas basketball great, NBA player with the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks
  • Jon Olsen (1969–), swimmer, winner of four Olympic gold medals
  • Charles Patterson, author and historian
  • Carl Pavano (1976–), professional baseball player
  • Joe Porcaro Drummer in Los Angeles and father to the Porcaro brothers who founded the band [Toto]
  • Charles Quigley (1906-1964), actor
  • Adolfas Ramanauskas (1918–1957), one of the prominent leaders of the Lithuanian partisans
  • Abraham A. Ribicoff (1910–1998), Congressman (1949–1953), Governor (1955–1961), Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare ('61–'62), U.S. Senator from Connecticut (1963–81)
  • George Springer (1989–), professional baseball player currently with the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Frederick Trent Stanley (1802–1883), first mayor of NB (1870), founder of Stanley Bolt Manufacturing (1843) that became The Stanley Works (1857) and (2010) Stanley Black & Decker.
  • Erin Stewart (1987–), Mayor of NB (2013–), currently (2016) youngest female mayor in United States
  • Tom Thibodeau (1958–), current head coach of the New York Knicks of the NBA
kids search engine
New Britain, Connecticut Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.