The ”Bridgeport Working: Voices from the Twentieth Century” was the concept of former BHC Department Head, Mary K. Witkowski. As Director of the History Center, Witkowski understood the important role that labor has played in Bridgeport’s history. The Twentieth Century saw two world wars, a depression, the expansion of civil service, and radical changes in the American manufacturing landscape along with the mass migration within and immigration to the United States. Labor experienced, drove, and reflected many of the economic changes that took place in Bridgeport during the Twentieth Century. Witkowski wanted to create a website that would provide researchers with valuable information on the City’s varied economy and the diverse group of citizens who have driven it. The site’s oral histories link individuals with historic events and trends and give voice to the people who actually witnessed and participated in them.
Many Staff members and local historians have worked on this project. The site was first launched in the late 1990’s with funding from the Connecticut Humanities Council
, the Bridgeport Public Library, and Judge Margaret Driscoll, in memory of her late husband, labor leader John Driscoll. The site underwent a major re-design in 2014 by Synergy of Westport, CT, and continues to be updated today as materials become available.
The Bridgeport History Center wishes to thank all those past and present who have contributed to the site:
Mary K. Witkowski, Original Project Director
Elizabeth Van Tuyl, Project Director
Dr. Deborah Elkin, Chief Writer and Labor Historian
Dr. Cecelia Bucki, CT Humanities Scholar, Professor of History, Fairfield University
Andy Piascik, Writer, Researcher, and Labor Historian
BPL Staff: Robert Jefferies, Nicholas Roman; former:
Nancy Johmann, BPL Director; Elizabeth Oldham, Business Manager; Library Assistants: Roseanne Mansfield, Betty Goldman, and John Goetza
Thanks for our volunteers who interviewed the workers:
John Soltis, Chief Interviewer; Michael Bielawa: Mozella Burns; Jamie Mills; Barbara Hall; Julie Jutkiewicz; Kristin Mazziotta; Ben Thompson
Special Thanks to:
The participants in the oral history interviews.
All of our patrons who have donated photographs over the years. If anyone has any other photographs or archival material to donate to the History Center,
please contact us at (203) 576-7400, #7.
“The Connecticut Post,”
formerly the “Bridgeport Post” for allowing us to use articles and many photographs from the past century.
Corbit's Studios, the storied Bridgeport Photography Studio, formerly of 2 Elm Street.
Nick Juliusberger, Michael Beeler, Maitri Vyas, Sandy Sferrazza, and Alan Levine of Synergy
for their computer talents.
The History Center
, Bridgeport Public Library, is a local history collection devoted to the history of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the surrounding region. Materials in the collection include books, manuscript material, newspapers, photographs, genealogy information, and special collections on P.T. Barnum and the circus.
For more information on the Historical Collections Department please contact the following:
History Center, Bridgeport Public Library
925 Broad Street
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604
Phone: 203.576.7400, #7
Visit our page on the Bridgeport Public Library site: http://bportlibrary.org/hc
Synergy Corporate Technologies Limited (SCTL or Synergy)
is a provider of integrated technology services designed to meet every aspect of organizational computing requirements. Our services range from initial concept design through installation to ongoing service and support. We offer complete web site solutions from the registration of a domain name through its development, design and hosting. Synergy's development department specializes in dynamic web development which enables our clients to maintain and update their own sites without web authoring experience through the use of web-enhanced databases. For more information, e-mail Synergy at email@example.com.