New England, by far, is one of the most beautiful locations in the Northeast location of America. The leaves in the fall are divine and the coast is picturesque. The states that make up New England are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Some residents in New York surprisingly claim that Connecticut is not part of New England but New York is. One of my friends, when I first told him I was a New England girl, said “Wow, you’re from England? That’s far!”
I cannot testify how well these upstate New Yorkers pay attention in their classes. But I can point out some wicked things that Connecticut, a state often overlooked and “hard to spell”, has invented for the betterment of the American Dream.
- Need the beans?
- The can opener was invented by Ezra J. Warner in Waterbury, Connecticut. Say thank you to CT, you CAN make all the preserves and open them again a year later. That includes the canned meat you buy, Brandon.
- In contrast, the bagged cookie that originated in Fairfield Connecticut was created 79 years after the can opener. You might know the brand. Pepperidge Farms anyone?
- Subway now serves cake
- Not really. And we were not the first to invent grinders (subs, hoagies, po’boy, blimpie, spiedie, submarine sandwich). Subway, the shop, was first opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut by Dr. Peter Buck. Eat fresh, on the water.
- What the submarine sandwich is based off of
- Cornelius Drebble invented the first submarine in 1623 in England, though there was no documents, drawings, or witnesses besides King James I of England. The first nuclear submarine, however, was built in Groton, Connecticut as the USS Nautilus. While some nuclear submarines do have nuclear warheads, not every single submarine that Electric Boat makes has nuclear weapons. A nuclear submarine is powered by a nuclear reactor (my dad, who works here, once was interviewing a candidate for an engineering position. He asked the candidate “What powers a submarine”. The candidate thought for a bit then answered, “Fire, like with charcoal”. My dad pushed the candidate further into his thinking. “How does charcoal work?” “It uses the fire.” “And?” “Oxygen?” “If we are using oxygen to help power the boat, what will the sailors breathe?” Especially with a boat that is submerged almost 730 meters below sea level, I would hope we’re not using the oxygen to power this 17 thousand tonne boat.
- Boop boop here comes the Po Po
- Do you not just love the speed limits, especially with the signs that are covered by overgrown trees? While submarines do not have a speed limit, us land lovers need some direction. In 1901, CT created a speed limit of 12 MPH in cities and 15 MPH on country roads. We are going places real fast, try to keep up.
- Sports sports sports
- Bill Rasmussen, Scott Rasmussen, and Ed Eagan collaborated together to create Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. The goal was to start broadcasting sports like Connecticut Huskies, Bristol Red Soxs, and the New England Whalers. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much enthusiasm behind the idea despite the idea being created by men and the decision makers being men. Who would have thought that displaying sports on TV would be so big?
- Red, like a lobster
- Now Maine has some good seafood. But the good ol’ lobster roll was created in Milford, Connecticut. I will take mine with extra butter, thankssomuch.
- We, as Americans, don’t like “u”
- Britain can take it back as Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is the first American dictionary. It burst from West Hartford, Connecticut, thanks Noah Webster. It all came after the American Revolution (Hamilton anyone?). We obviously needed new spellings to make sure that we were not anything like our English mothers. Might have to do with how we had the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut in 1639, regarded as the first ever written constitution.
- The Chordettes sang a song about this, and I am not talking about Sandman
- “Lollipop lollipop Oh lolli lolli lolli, lollipop, lollipop” as the group sang. I’m talking about the kind of hard candy that your lips smack around and some people (ahem me and that silly owl) have a tendency to much down only a couple licks in. 1908 in New Haven, George Smith thought it might be easier to eat these hardened balls of sugar on a stick.
- Speaking of hard candy, while the concept behind PEZ was invented in Vienna, Austria, but the first manufacturing center (you know, where they build the dispensers and make the candy and all the good stuff about PEZ in general?) was opened in Orange, Connecticut in 1973. There’s a visitor center there now. Americans and their sweet teeth, eh?
- Look, we even took a pie tin and made a Frisbee out of it, tossing it around Yale Campus. Darn college students inventing new games and ruining a perfectly good pie tin
- Video killed the radio star
- Or maybe listening to podcasts will kill the radio star. Anywho, the radio is not gone yet, despite Pandora and Spotify and all the other streaming music apps. Radio remains, starting in 1939 in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Take out that pen and start that thank you letter for all of those long drives where you had no more data.
- Can I - uh - get a side of fries with that?
- Prepare yourself for the American Hamburger. Without ketchup, of course. There is a debate of who was first, Texas or Connecticut. The Library of Congress, however, settles the fight as they claim Louis Lassen was the first inventor of the burger, served in New Haven, Connecticut.
Welcome to the Constitutional Nutmeg state. It may be hard to spell, but Connecticut had your back and remains, so far, by your side (think about it, we did not even go along with prohibition!)