city, coextensive with the town (township) of Torrington, Litchfield county, northwestern Connecticut, U.S., on the Naugatuck River. The town was named in 1732 for Great Torrington, England, but the area was not settled until 1737. The town was incorporated in 1740. The village went by several names including Mast Swamp (1747), New Orleans Village (1806), and Wolcottville (1813), the latter for the founder of its principal industry: a woolen mill. During the American Revolution the entire male population over 20 years of age enlisted in the Continental Army. The town was a centre of abolitionist sentiment during the 19th century and was the birthplace of John Brown. In 1881 the village changed its name to Torrington. Industry developed early in the area with ship mast, textile, and brass production (1834); it is now well diversified with machine-type products. In the 1850s Gail Borden made the first condensed milk there. A branch of the University of Connecticut is in Torrington. The borough of Torrington, incorporated from the village in 1887, became a city in 1923; city and town were consolidated the same year. Pop. (1990) 33,687; (2000) 35,202.
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