Editorial: Scholarly series is a worthwhile event

Though only their remnants remain in many towns, brimstone once poured from smokestacks spotting much of Connecticut’s urban landscapes. Factories from Willimantic to Rockville to Danbury churned out quality goods to be sold on the open market day in and day out. Within those factories many fortunes were made, and many lives were lost.

This year, we applaud the Wilton Historical Society and Wilton Library for their decision to present a five-part series titled “American Made: The Industrial Revolution in Connecticut.” As the seventh annual collaboration between the two organizations, this series is representative of their consistent dedication to providing the town diverse, thought-provoking programs.

The Industrial Revolution effectively created the middle class in some countries, while giving birth to communism in others. Interestingly enough, many of the socioeconomic problems facing Connecticut at that time resemble those facing the state today.

The first lecture in the series, “Leaving Connecticut, Shaping America” will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 4 p.m. at Wilton Library.

State Historian Walter Woodward will “come to the library to discuss the reasons why people left Connecticut between 1780 and 1830 to go to new areas such as Pennsylvania, Vermont, western New York,” a press release reads.

Similarly, Connecticut currently faces the effects of a large exodus of young people from the state. While situations may differ from those in 1820, much may be learned from understanding past loss of populations.

Special credit for this series is due to its sponsors for their generosity: Doon and John Foster, Kathleen and Bill Brennan, Lila and Buck Griswold, Lee Wilson of Wilson Properties, and the Stamford Pathology Group PC.

Sunday lectures will be held on Feb. 9 at Wilton Library and Feb. 23, March 2, March 16, and March 30 at the Wilton Historical Society. Advance registration is essential for these lectures. To register, visit wiltonlibrary.org or call 203-762-3950.

There is no charge for the series, though donations are welcome.