Incorporated in October 1702 from the Town of Windham, in Hartford County, Mansfield was named after Major Moses Mansfield, the original owner of the town site.
Mansfield’s claim to fame is its place in history as the original center of the American silk industry. The culture of silkworms (Bombyx mori) began in China about 5000 years ago. The ancient Chinese were the first to discover that the cocoons of a lowly caterpillar could be unwound and the filaments woven into some of the most beautiful fabrics in the world. Silk was so highly prized that the luxurious fabrics were reserved exclusively for the royalty of China.
In (approximately) 1760, Nathaniel Aspinwall, a native of Mansfield, planted an orchard in town and in 1762, he brought the first silkworm eggs to Mansfield and began to promote silk culture in Mansfield and nearby towns.
Silkworms were raised throughout the state in the late 1700’s but only in Mansfield and some of the surrounding towns did the home industry continue much beyond the turn of the century.
By 1800, three quarters of the residents of Mansfield were raising silkworms in their homes. The men planted the trees, then women and children gathered the leaves, cared for the worms and reeled and spun the raw silk by hand on a spinning wheel.
Although silk is very highly valued across various industries, not just textiles, there are two interesting things that are important to know about silk. The first is that its beginnings are extremely humble. It is basically derived from caterpillar eggs! What could be lower than that? And yet, with some delicate handling, the lowly cocoons transformed themselves into gold nuggets.
The other important fact to know about silk is that it is considered one of the strongest natural fibers. An example of its durability was demonstrated by the recovery in 1840 of silk garments from a shipwreck in 1782: “The most durable article found has been silk; for besides pieces of cloaks and lace, a pair of black satin breeches, and a large satin waistcoat with flaps, were got up, of which the silk was perfect, but the lining entirely gone … from the thread giving way … No articles of dress of woolen cloth have yet been found,’ the Times of London reported in October of 1840.
Sure Lock&Key, while a locksmith company and not a silk industry, shares these two qualities with the royal thread. Its origins are relatively humble: founded by four brothers, they set out with a goal to provide excellent, professional service at a fair price. Like the ignoble cocoon, with some wise handling the company grew in reputation until its arms spread to encompass most of Connecticut.
Their state of the art equipment is, like silk, strong and durable. Customers won’t be hassled with flimsy locks and sub-par security, and their 24-hour mobile vans are equipped with the tools necessary to get into most locked doors and lockouts, house lockout, garage lockout, bedroom lockout, mailbox lockout, safe lockout and more. They carry all types of house locks on board their mobile locksmith vans and are always ready to upgrade, rekey, replace, or repair most locks. Sure Lock&Key is a full-service locksmith and security company that customers can rely on.