Bridgeport, city (1990 pop. 141,686), Fairfield co., SW Conn., on Long Island Sound; inc. 1836. Long a chief industrial city in Connecticut, it makes electrical appliances, transportation equipment, clothing, ammunition, metal products, wiring devices, machinery, helicopters, motor vehicles, and building materials. Settled in 1639, Bridgeport first grew as a fishing community. Heavy industry declined rapidly after 1970, and Bridgeport struggled as more affluent residents fled to the suburbs. The Barnum Institute of Science and History commemorates showman P. T. Barnum, who lived in Bridgeport and whose circus wintered there. The Univ. of Bridgeport is in the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.