Bridgeport

/brij"pawrt', -pohrt'/, n.
a seaport in SW Connecticut, on Long Island Sound. 142,546.

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City (pop., 2000: 139,529), southwestern Connecticut, U.S. Located on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Pequonnock River, it was settled in 1639.

Its earlier names included Newfield and Stratford; Bridgeport was chosen in 1800. P.T. Barnum was once its mayor, and his star attraction "Tom Thumb" was born there. The city evolved into an industrial centre following the American Civil War. In the late 20th century, its industrial base eroded, causing financial problems for the city.

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      city, coextensive with the town (township) of Bridgeport, Fairfield county, southwestern Connecticut, U.S. The city, the most populous in the state, is a port on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Pequonnock River. Settled in 1639, it was first known as Newfield and later as Stratfield. In 1800 it was incorporated as a borough and named Bridgeport for the first drawbridge over the river.

      Bridgeport's advantageous geographic location, situated around an excellent harbour on the Long Island Sound, encouraged the early settlers to shift from agrarian to mercantile and manufacturing pursuits. It grew from a whaling centre into an industrial centre after the opening of the railroad in 1840. In the 19th century Bridgeport's industries produced carriages, brass and cast-iron fittings, sewing machines, tools, saddlery, and ammunition. By the 1930s the community had almost 500 manufacturing firms. In the late 20th century Bridgeport remained a manufacturing centre, producing electrical and transportation equipment, plastics, and machine tools. Bridgeport also had problems with unemployment, pollution, drugs, and crime in its inner-city neighbourhoods.

      P.T. Barnum (Barnum, P.T.), the well-known showman, was once the mayor of Bridgeport, and one of his star attractions—Charles S. Stratton (Stratton, Charles), “General Tom Thumb”—was born there. The Barnum Museum exhibits colourful circus memorabilia. The much-publicized socialist mayor Jasper McLevy was elected there in 1933 to begin a 24-year administration. The city is the home of the University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, University of) (1927) and Housatonic Community-Technical College (1966). Inc. town, 1821; city, 1836; town and city consolidated, 1836. Pop. (1990) city, 141,686; Bridgeport PMSA, 443,722; (2000) city, 139,529; Bridgeport PMSA, 459,479.

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Universalium. 2010.

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