Hamden, town (1990 pop. 52,434), New Haven co., S Conn.; inc. 1786. The town, settled c.1638, was named for John Hampden, the English Puritan. A residential and manufacturing suburb of New Haven, of which it was once a part, Hamden makes machinery, electrical and computer products, metal goods, wire and cable, building materials, fabricated metals, and rolled steel. The town's industrial development dates back to 1798, when Eli Whitney set up an arms factory using techniques of mass production. A plaque marks the site. Hamden also has many early mill sites, Colonial and Civil War–era houses, and a restored opera house. Quinnipiac College is in the town.
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