city, coextensive with the town (township) of Meriden, New Haven county, central Connecticut, U.S. Meriden is situated on the Quinnipiac River with the Hanging Hills to the west. It was settled in 1661 by Jonathan Gilbert, who named it for his birthplace, Meriden Farm in Dorking, England. It became a separate parish in 1726 and was incorporated as a town and set off from Wallingford in 1806. The city was incorporated in 1867 and consolidated with the town in 1922. Industry is highly developed and includes silverware and associated manufactures, which began in 1794 when Samuel Yale undertook pewter production there. In 1808 Ashbel Griswold began the manufacture of Britannia ware, made at first from a mixture of tin and lead and later from an alloy of tin, antimony, and copper. The International Silver Company, one of the world's largest silverware manufacturers, was established in the city in 1898. The American Silver Museum traces the production and use of silver. Pop. (1990) city, 59,479; New Haven-Meriden PMSA, 530,180; (2000) city, 58,244; New Haven-Meriden PMSA, 542,149.
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