21 Inventions and Firsts That Originated From Connecticut

Connecticut is home to many inventions and firsts, from small forms of entertainment to life changing inventions that impacted the entire world. Below we’ll list twenty-one things you may or may not have known originated from Connecticut.

The American English Dictionary

Noah Webster published the first American dictionary in 1806 as a Hartford native.

The Sewing Machine

Elias Howe invented the first American sewing machine in 1846.


George Smith, owner of a confectionery company called the Bradley Smith Company, took credit for inventing the modern version of the lollipop which he began making in 1908 in New Haven.



The Hamburger

New Haven resident Louis Lassen is credited with creating the first hamburger in 1900 at Louis Lunch.



Can Opener

Ezra J. Warner of Waterbury patented his design of a can opener in 1858.

The Submarine

David Bushnell is credited with creating the first submarine ever used in combat, while studying at Yale in 1775.



First FM Radio Station

FM radio station, WDRC-FM began broadcasting in the Hartford area in 1939

Wiffle Ball

The ball most commonly used in the game was invented by David N. Mullany at his home in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1953.



First Speed Limits

In 1901, Connecticut becomes the first state to pass a law regulating motor vehicles, limiting their speed to 12 mph in cities and 15 mph on country roads.

Cotton Gin

Patented in 1794 by Eli Whitney



The Frisbee

Legend has it Yale University students would throw empty tins from Bridgeport’s Frisbie Pie Company on the New Haven Green and the rest is history.



Colt 45 Revolver

The .45 Colt was a joint development between Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, of Hartford, and the Union Metallic Cartridge Company of Bridgeport. Colt began work on the revolver in 1871, and submitted a sample to the U.S. Army in late 1872. The revolver was accepted for purchase in 1873

Vulcanized Rubber

Charles Goodyear from New Haven was granted his first patent in 1844 for vulcanized rubber.


William Green Morton, one of the credited inventors of anesthesia studied in Hartford.

Portable Typewriter

In 1892 the first US patent for a portable typewriter was issued. The patent was issued to George C. Blickensderfer of Stamford for a “type writing machine.”



Ice Making Machine

In 1853, Alexander Twining of new Haven was awarded a U.S for an icemaker. Twining’s experiments led to the development of the first commercial refrigeration system, built in 1856

Polaroid Camera

Edwin Land, born in Bridgeport invented the Polaroid Camera in 1947.




Starting in 1764, The Hartford Courant is recognized as the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States.

Public Art Museum

Wadsworth Atheneum founded in 1842 and opened in 1844, it is the oldest continually operating public art museum in the United States.



Artificial Heart

Dr. Robert K. Jarvik, a Stamford native, invented the world's first artificial heart.

The Constitution

Many say the Connecticut Constitution was an example used for The Constitution of the United States