Digital Commonwealth

Brockton: The Early Years as a City in Photographs, 1881-1950

Brockton Public Library

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Brockton's city seal exemplifies the city's ethos as envisioned at its incorporation: education, industry, and progress. Excellence in education, shoe city to the world, and progress in being the first with a three-wire underground electric system, first electrically operated fire station, first theater tied to the three-wire electrical system, first to abolish rail road grade crossings, and first to introduce a municipal system of inland sewage disposal in 1893 that attracted dignitaries from around the world to view and imitate. Photographs of Brockton's businesses, people, and transportation document this period ranging from 1880 to 1950 when Brockton's population boomed from 13,608 to 62,860.

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