Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Neighborhood: West End

Harvey Hubbell, II

Harvey Hubbell II opened his manufacturing facility in a small loft on Middle Street in Bridgeport  in 1888.  Although he had some early successes in manufacturing, it was his new pull socket patented in 1896 that brought him real success.

The Hubbell pull socket, which he developed in 1896, broudght uccess to the Hubbell operation.  In 1909, Harvey Hubell the second oversaw the construction of a new Bridgport factoryfor the growing company off of State Street on Bostwick Avenue.

Harvey Hubbell II took photographs of the factory being built, and was joined by his little son, Harvey III.  The four story U-shaped structure was designed to increase manufacturing efficiency and like the products the company produced, utilized the newest technoklogy:  reinforced concrate.

The Hubbell building,  served as a western gat3way to the City’s West End industrial areafor decades to come, and was the first such building in New England. 

Harvey Hubell III grew up to take over the family business after his father died in 1927.  He was only 26 years old at the time of his father’s death.  During Harvey III’s tenure as president of Hubell Manufacturing, the firm grew from a $1 million annual business in 1927 to a $21 million a year business in 1963.

Harvey Hubbell III in vented many of the manufacturing devices built by thee company, as had his father, Harvey II.  The most remembered product made in the  factory was the pull socket.

Once Interstate 95 was completed through Bridgeport, a large electric sign was on top of the Hubbell building’s roof clearly visible to automobiles on the highway.

In 2008, Hubbell Industries demolished the Bostwick Avenue plant.  Hubell Industries is found throughout the world, including Shelton, Connecticut.

Mary Witkowski
Mary K. Witkowski is the former Bridgeport City Historian and the Department Head of the Bridgeport History Center, Emeritus. She is the author of Bridgeport at Work, and the co-author with Bruce Williams of Bridgeport on the Sound. Mary has had a newspaper column in the Bridgeport News, a blog for the Connecticut Post, and a weekly spot on WICC. She continues to be involved in many community based activities and initiatives on local history and historic preservation.