Bristol. 1 Industrial city (1990 pop. 60,640), Hartford co., central Conn., on the Pequabuck River; settled 1727, inc. 1785. Its clock-making industry dates from 1790. It also makes machinery, electrical equipment, and metal products, and is home to the ESPN television network and an elevator testing facility. The American Clock and Watch Museum is there, and on Lake Compounce is the nation's oldest continually operating amusement park.
2 Industrial borough (1990 pop. 10,405), Bucks co., SE Pa., on the Delaware River opposite Burlington, N.J.; settled 1697, inc. 1720. Its many manufactures include plastics, paper, medical supplies, and electronic equipment. The third oldest borough in the state, it was once a busy river port with important shipbuilding activities. Among its historic structures is the Friends Meetinghouse (c.1710). A restoration of 17th- and 18th-century buildings and a replica of William Penn's country manor are nearby.
3 Town (1990 pop. 21,625), seat of Bristol co., E R.I., a port of entry on Narragansett Bay; inc. as a Plymouth Colony town 1681, ceded to Rhode Island 1746. An early center of commercial trade, the port was (18th–19th cent.) a base for whaling and shipbuilding. The Herreshoff boatyard, where many winners of the America 's Cup were built, was in operation until 1945. Manufacturing includes wire and cable, cotton thread, and fiberglass boats. King Philip's War (1675–76) began and ended on the site of the town, and a monument on Mt. Hope marks the spot where King Philip fell. The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology has notable collections of Native American relics. On Hope St. is a row of preserved colonial homes. The town is the seat of Roger Williams Univ. Mt. Hope Bridge connects Bristol with Portsmouth.
4 Industrial cities on the Tenn.-Va. line, Sullivan co., Tenn. (1990 pop. 23,421), independent and in no county in Virginia (1990 pop. 18,426); settled 1749 as Sapling Grove, inc. as separate towns 1856, as Bristol city 1890. The two cities, although separate municipalities, are economically a unit that is the transportation and processing center of a mountainous region. Livestock is raised and electronic equipment, metal products, and caskets are produced there. Shelby's Fort (built 1771) was frequented by Daniel Boone. Two hundred years of controversy preceded the location of the state line down the middle of State Street. King College is in Bristol, Tenn., and Virginia Intermont College is in the Virginia city. In the area are Bristol Caverns and Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.