New Britain (island)

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The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. The Columbia University Press

New Britain (island, Papua New Guinea)

New Britain, volcanic island (1990 pop. 315,649), c.14,600 sq mi (37,810 sq km), SW Pacific, largest island of the Bismarck Archipelago and part of Papua New Guinea, in which it forms two provinces (East and West New Britain). Rabaul is the chief town and port. The island is mountainous, with active volcanoes, hot springs, and peaks over 7,000 ft (2,130 m) high. The major export is copra, and some copper, gold, iron, and coal are mined.

Visited and named by the English explorer William Dampier in 1700, New Britain became part of German New Guinea in 1884. Germany called it Neu Pommern (New Pomerania). In 1920 it was mandated to Australia by the League of Nations and in 1947 was made a UN trust territory under Australian control. In 1937 and again in 1994 Rabaul was severely damaged by volcanic activity.

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Copyright The Columbia University Press

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. The Columbia University Press

New Britain (city, United States)

New Britain, industrial city (1990 pop. 75,491), Hartford co., central Conn.; settled c.1686, inc. 1871. The tin shops and brassworks in the city were established in the 18th cent. New Britain became famous as the "Hardware City" because of its tool and household-hardware industry, which remains economically important. Central Connecticut State Univ. is there. Of interest are the city hall (1884), a park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the center of the city, and a museum of American art. Elihu Burritt was born in New Britain.

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