Connecticut is a state with many firsts for North America including having claim to the first telephone book ever issued to the first public library to the first nuclear powered submarine. Collectors travel throughout the state to pick up historic finds in expected places like quaint New England antique shops to hole-in-the-wall pawn shops. You never know what you’ll find in local pawn shops. Who knows, you might find early collectables from Connecticut’s agricultural days to pieces from its industrial days.
The first telephone book ever issued was published by the New Haven District Telephone Company. It was published in New Haven in 1878. Collectors of old publications will relish in the artifacts found throughout Connecticut. For example, many historic books can be found at the Scoville Memorial Library. This is the oldest public library in the United States.
Collectable Publications and Newspapers
Connecticut is known for its publishing industry. Hartford is home to the oldest US newspaper still in publication, The Hartford Courant. It was established in 1764. The history in these pages is rich and many newspapers marking significant moments in history have been collected by people throughout the years. Today there are approximately 144 newspaper published throughout CT, including daily, weekly, Sunday and monthly publications.
Industry once had a significant place in Connecticut. Copper was discovered in 1705 in Simsbury. The mine became famous as the New-Gate Prison of the Revolutionary War and Dr. Samuel Higley of Simsbury started the first copper coinage in America in 1737. Simsbury was also home to the first steel mill in America, also started in the 1700s.
Collectors come to Connecticut to find antiques and other collectibles from the days of the American Revolution and beyond. From clocks to bells to locks and guns, Connecticut has its place in history for its expansive industry. Collectors seek out everything from bells to clocks to add to their collections of early Americana.
Among other firsts, Connecticut is famous for the Polaroid camera in 1934, helicopter in 1939 and color television in 1948. Polaroid cameras and early television sets are often sought out by collectors, especially the early models. Whether you’re an antique camera collector, clock collector, bell collector or gun collector, Connecticut is home to some of the earliest examples of these items manufactured in the United States. As a result, it is a great place to scour for interesting finds in antique shops and pawn shops in Connecticut alike.