Skull Talk: The Brass City

Like many cities in Connecticut, Waterbury has a rich history that can be attributed to the industry which helped it flourish. Although the thriving industry of yesteryear has dwindled, the nickname of the city still remains. The history of Waterbury is quite charming.

Waterbury is known as the Brass City. This nickname comes from the incredibly successful brass industry which lasted from the mid eighteen century to the early twentieth century. At one time, Waterbury was the leading producer of brass in the world. I find brass buttons for military uniforms to be the most fascinating. Three companies produced the brass in Waterbury: Scovill Manufacturing, American Brass (later Anaconda-American Brass, 1922), and Chase Brass & Copper Company. In the 1950s, after World War II, the brass industry began to decline. Brass items were replaced by plastic, zinc, and aluminum. Today, the Brass City Center is located on the grounds of an old brass factory.

The Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury has exhibits about the history of the greater Waterbury area where the brass industry in Waterbury is highlighted. On the top floor of the Mattatuck Museum there is an incredible collection of unique buttons from around the world. Some of the button collection includes brass buttons from Waterbury. Every city has its own history. What is your city most famous for?

Annmarie Savarese
Research Advisory Board

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