Carolyn Ivanoff

Daniel Dash Morgan, 1844-1931: Bridgeport Entrepreneur, Politician and Self-Made Man

December 04, 2019

By Carolyn Ivanoff

Daniel Nash Morgan was a prominent Bridgeport personality for many years during his long life.  A self-made and extremely successful entrepreneur and politician, Daniel Nash Morgan served his city, state, and nation.  Interesting to note in these politically polarized times, he was a staunch Democrat who also had a large Republican following.  During his life-time his biography would appear in such publications as The Successful American, Men of Mark in Connecticut, Representative Men of Connecticut 1861-1994. Morgan was held up as a shining example of success, of hard work, upstanding moral character, and the American dream.  He himself believed this wholeheartedly and would advise, “To be born and to live in such an incomparable country as the United States, the unparalleled advantages of this wonderful age, to the blessings and opportunities of youth and health, commendable ambition and a high purpose in life will win you success.” Quaint words, sometimes still used in various contexts to motivate youth, but Daniel Nash Morgan believed them and lived them. (more…)

Banks and Banking, Bibliography, Business and Commerce, Featured, Politics

East Side Bridgeport – A Cityscape Made by the Great War

May 03, 2019

By Carolyn Ivanoff

During the 1960s my grandmother lived on the top floor of the four- story Consumer Building at 1064 East Main Street on the corner of East Main Street and Arctic. The building was the tallest building in the area and from any window of the top floor you could look over almost the entire East Side. Skydel’s Department Store, where every Easter my mother purchased our shoes and hats, was directly across the street and I could look down on the roof. Looking down Arctic Street the tall familiar landmark of the Remington Shot Tower was visible over the tops of the houses. Looking over to the left across Boston Avenue, I could clearly see the GE meatball shining above one of the largest industrial facilities in the world. General Electric, purchased the complex in 1920 from Remington. My favorite time to view the city was on a summer evening as the lights started to come on all over the East Side. (more…)

Business and Commerce, Featured, Industry, Neighborhood: East End, Neighborhood: East Side, World War I

Monuments Everlasting – Bridgeport’s Monumental Bronze Company

December 17, 2019

By Carolyn Ivanoff

The industrial powerhouse that was Bridgeport during the 19th and 20th centuries made its mark world-wide with many, many products.  Bridgeport manufactured everything: sewing machines, cars, phonographs, typewriters, corsets, submarines, machine tools, munitions, every product imaginable.  Many of these products were common to the national and world needs of the times, but several products were absolutely unique.  The Monumental Bronze Company, on the corner of Howard and Cherry Streets, fulfilled an exclusive and distinctive place in American manufacturing. It was the only company in the nation that cast metal tomb stones from “white bronze.” Every white bronze marker was made to order and, therefore, one of a kind. The company also cast numerous Civil War monuments that can be seen in cemeteries, on town greens, and court house squares all around the nation in thirty states, north and south. White bronze contained no bronze at all.  It was almost pure zinc alloyed with tin, but white bronze sounded so much more elegant and sophisticated than zinc and the name made monuments more marketable. (more…)

Business and Commerce, Cemeteries, Featured, Industry

The Bridgeport Teachers’ Protest of 1915

July 24, 2019

By Carolyn Ivanoff

Reading a newspaper you can witness the first draft of history from world to local news. In the spring of 1915 the sinking of the Lusitania factored largely in headlines along with the war in Europe. Local and national labor news would also fill the papers. 1915 Bridgeport was full of restless laborers, many of whom were immigrants, who flooded the city and were working in a multitude of industries especially the crucial munitions industry. (more…)

Education, Labor, Women

When the Army Recruiter Came to Call 1862

December 03, 2019

By Carolyn Ivanoff

Loyal war governor of Connecticut, William A. Buckingham. Image author’s collection.

 In 1862 our nation was embroiled in a desperate Civil War.  The war was not going well for the Union. In June General McClellan was beaten back from Richmond by General Lee in the debacle of the Seven Days Battles.  The federal government needed money desperately to pay for the war and on July 1 the U.S. Congress passed “An Act to provide Internal Revenue to Support the Government and pay Interest on the Public Debt.”  This was the first federal income tax in U.S. history.  Also in July President Lincoln issued a call directly to the loyal governors of the northern states for 300,000 men needed immediately to stave off disaster as casualties mounted in both the eastern and western theaters. In addition to recruiting new regiments, the old regiments were decimated for manpower and desperately needed men to replace losses in their ranks.  Connecticut’s Governor William Buckingham loyally responded to President Lincoln’s call that “I will spare no effort to raise men.”  He issued a ringing proclamation to the men of Connecticut, “Close your manufactories and workshops—turn aside from your farms and your businesses—leave for a while your families and your homes—meet face to face the enemies of your liberties.”  (more…)

Featured, Veterans and Wars

William H. Warren – A Connecticut Civil War Soldier

March 29, 2019

by Carolyn Ivanoff

William H. Warren
Birth: March 28, 1842 – Death:  June 5, 1918
Buried in Wooster Cemetery, Danbury, CT

William H. Warren was born on March 28, 1842.  Warren was listed in the 1860 census as a railroad hand living in Danbury, Connecticut.  In August 1862, as the Civil War raged, Warren patriotically enlisted in the 17th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry as an 18 year old private.  He enrolled in Company C along with other young men from Danbury Connecticut.  The 17th Connecticut Regiment was known as the Fairfield County Regiment, almost all of the volunteers for the regiment enlisted from different towns in Fairfield County.  This typical Union Civil War regiment was approximately one thousand men and led by a Colonel William H. Noble, a Bridgeport lawyer and business man, who was appointed Colonel of the 17th Connecticut.  A regiment was divided into ten companies of 100 men led by a captain.  When Warren enlisted in Company C, most of that company was recruited from Danbury.  The 17th Connecticut was enlisted as a three year regiment. (more…)

Featured, Veterans and Wars