The Connecticut Yankee has long been a symbol of ingenuity and inventiveness. These qualities have been matched by production skills since the earliest days. From colonial times, Connecticut has been predominantly a manufacturing state and a world leader in industrial development.
When Connecticut was still a colony, her factories were already important enough to draw angry complaints from competitors in England. Connecticut metal buttons were replacing the imported product and were providing the start of Connecticut’s great brass industry.
Connecticut is often described as the "Arsenal of the Nation." It gained this reputation as early as the American Revolution. Early in the 19th century, Eli Whitney and Simeon North began making Connecticut firearms with interchangeable parts. This is generally recognized as the beginning of modern mass production.
Through the years, Connecticut industrial genius has given the world such varied inventions as vulcanized rubber, friction matches, sewing machines, steamboats, safety fuses, lollipops, corkscrews, mechanical calculators, cylindrical locks, and the submarine.
Today, Connecticut’s manufacturing industry continues to be highly diversified. Jet aircraft engines, helicopters, and nuclear submarines have given the state pre-eminence in the production of transportation equipment. Connecticut also is a leader in such highly skilled and technical fields as metalworking, electronics, and plastics. This sort of creativity has made a significant contribution to Connecticut’s standard of life - its living qualities. For more than 50 years these qualities have been judged to be the nation’s finest. In turn, they are responsible, in large part, for the influx of major corporate offices. Connecticut is now the home of such worldwide organizations as Xerox, G.E., Uniroyal, G.T.E., Olin, Champion International, and Union Carbide.
Among its better-known corporate industries, however are its insurance companies.
Connecticut began to earn its reputation as the Insurance State more than 180 years ago. Marine insurance, the great grandfather of all modern forms of insurance, had its start in Connecticut with coverage for ships and cargoes which sailed from the state’s ocean and river ports to the Caribbean. Fire insurance got its formal start in 1794; other types - life, accident, casualty, and health - followed over the next century. There are 106 insurance companies based in Connecticut.
While agriculture no longer holds its once-prominent position in Connecticut’s economy, farming is still important to the state. The most important crops are dairy, poultry, forest and nursery, tobacco, vegetables and fruit.