Bridgeport, a city and half shire town of Fairfield co., Conn., situated on Long Island sound, 59 m. N. E. of New York, by the New York and New Haven railroad. It is the most important station on the road, and a terminus of the Housatonic and Naugatuck railroads. The mouth of the Pequonnock creek furnishes a harbor safe and capacious, but somewhat injured by a sand bar. Much coasting business is done here, and steamboats make daily passages to and from New York. Near the shore the land is level, but soon rises to an elevation of 100 ft., called Golden hill, commanding a beautiful view of the sound, and crowned with elegant residences. The city is well built, has a gas and a water company, and many of its streets are shaded with large elms. The immediate vicinity was settled in 1639, but the city (formerly called Newfield) is almost wholly the growth of the present century. The town, formerly a part of Stratford, was incorporated in 1821, and the city charter was obtained in 1836. The population of the city in 1850 was 6,080; in 1860, 13,299; and in 1870, 18,969; of the town in 1870, 19,835. The value of the taxable property of the town in 1871 was $10,512,156, which amount was exceeded only by that of three other towns in the state, Hartford, New Haven, and Norwich. In 1871 there were in the town 13 schools, with 7 male teachers, 43 female teachers, 3,605 pupils registered in the public schools, and 498 in private schools.
The city contains 5 national banks and three savings banks, with deposits aggregating, Jan. 1, 1871, $4,473,102. Bridgeport is noted for its manufactures of firearms and sewing machines. Among the most extensive establishments are those of the Wheeler and Wilson and Howe sewing machine companies, the Union metallic cartridge company, the New Haven arms company, and one of the largest carriage manufactories in the United States. There are seven other carriage factories, several iron founderies, manufactories of locks, saddles, harness, carriage springs, and coach lace, and two daily newspapers.