This old bird’s eye view of Hartford, Connecticut was published in 1864 by Jacob Weidenmann of Hartford. He was a landscape architect educated at the Akademie der bildenden Künste, and worked in Munich, Paris, London, New York, Panama and Peru before settling in Hartford.
In 1861 he became Hartford’s first superintendent of parks, designing Bushnell Park and Cedar Hill Cemetery. In 1874 he collaborated with Frederick Law Olmsted on projects such as Mount Royal Park in Montreal, Canada and the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Weidenmann created this detailed bird’s eye view of Hartford in 1864 when he was the superintendent of Hartford parks. Steamboats can be seen traveling the Connecticut River, smoke pours from the stacks of the manufacturing companies, and trains flow in and out of a downtown bustling with people and horse drawn carriages.
This 19th century scene shows Hartford during its most prosperous period. In 1850, Hartford native Samuel Colt perfected the manufacturing process that enabled the mass production of revolvers with interchangeable parts, and Sharps Rifle Co. set up shop only three years later at a site along the now-buried Park River, located in the present-day neighborhood of Frog Hollow.
Pratt & Whitney opened their doors in 1860 and other companies soon followed including Columbia Bicycles, Weed Sewing Machines, and Pope Manufacturing. These businesses along with many others transformed Hartford from a marshy farmland into a major industrial zone.
This old map of Hartford has been lovingly restored by the team at KNOWOL. Reproductions of the restored map are available on museum quality, archival paper to ensure that this piece of Connecticut history can be passed on to the next generation. Click here to get a copy of the map.