The Pratt & Whitney site in North Haven once housed baseball fields alongside the manufacturing plant, and images of workers running the bases are part of a new photo display in Town Hall.
Former Pratt and Whitney employee Bill Richards donated aerial photos of the old P&W site from 1962, photos of employees playing baseball in the 1950s and an commemorative employee photo from 1977, to the North Haven Historical Society earlier this year.
The town had prints of the historic photos professionally matted and framed for display in Town Hall. They were hung recently in the hallway leading to the second floor conference room.
Richards, who has lived in North Haven since 1955, started working at P&W in 1972 in materials organization, back when the plant was a 24-hour operation producing airplanes engines.
“We would even work (half-days) on holidays back in those days,” Richards said, adding that the plant often employed several members of the same family.
P&W began shuttering the plant in 2000 and completed the phased closing in 2002.
Richards received the photos from another former employee, manager Robert Bishop, a member of the North Haven Aircraft Club associated with P&W.
“They were housecleaning,” Richards said, and Bishop gave him the photos at that time.
Richards has kept the photos in his personal archive since. He happened to mention the photos to First Selectman Michael Freda at a summer concert on the green earlier this year.
The donation is significant now that the P&W buildings have been demolished in the process of readying the site for the Amazon distribution facility.
“It’s important to keep the history alive,” Freda said, “and it’s through Bill’s generosity, and through his recognition, that the pictures he found have significance here.”