Brocktonby James E. Benson
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Brockton, first settled in 1700, was originally a part of Old Bridgewater, known as North Parish and later as North Bridgewater. On April 9, 1881, it officially became the City of Brockton. During the Civil War, Brockton was the largest producer of shoes in the country, earning it the nickname "Shoe City." As a growing industrial center, Brockton had the proud honor of being first in the world and nation in many ways. On October 1, 1883, the city became the first in the world to have a three-wire underground electrical system, initially turned on by Thomas Edison. In 1884, the Central Fire Station became the first electrically operated fire station in the country. In 1894, the City Theater had the distinction of being the first in the world tied to a three-wire underground system. In 1890, Col. James Edgar, owner of Edgar's Department Store, donned a Santa Claus outfit, becoming the first department store likeness of the jolly old man. Brockton is also known as the "City of Champions," being the hometown of boxing greats Rocky Marciano and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Meet the Author
James Benson, a lifelong resident of the Brockton area and author of six books with Arcadia Publishing, has drawn on several sources to bring readers a sense of Brockton in more modern times. Many of the images in this book are from the Stanley A. Bauman Photograph Collection at Stonehill College.
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