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Springfield was founded in 1636 by English Puritan William Pynchon as "Agawam Plantation" under the administration of the Connecticut Colony.
In 1641 it was renamed after Pynchon's hometown of Springfield, Essex, England, following incidents, including trade disputes as well as Captain John Mason's hostilities toward native tribes, that precipitated the settlement joining the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Springfielders produced many innovations, including the first American-English dictionary (1805, Merriam-Webster); the first use of interchangeable parts and the assembly line in manufacturing (1819, Thomas Blanchard); the first American horseless car (1825, Thomas Blanchard); the mass production of vulcanized rubber (1844, Charles Goodyear); the first American gasoline-powered car (1893, Duryea Brothers); the first successful motorcycle company (1901, "Indian"); one of America's first commercial radio stations (1921, WBZ, broadcast from the Hotel Kimball); and most famously, the world's second-most-popular sport, basketball (1891, Dr. Springfield would play major roles in machine production, initially driven by the arms industry of the Armory, as well as from private companies such as Smith & Wesson, established by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Similarly, the industrial economy led Thomas and Charles Wason to establish the Wason Manufacturing Company, which produced the first manufactured sleeping car.
Although not unheard of, extreme weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes occur infrequently in Springfield compared with other areas in the country.
On the occasions that hurricanes have hit New England, Springfield's inland, upriver location has caused its damages to be considerably less than shoreline cities like New Haven, Connecticut and Providence, Rhode Island.
Spring and fall temperatures are usually pleasant, with mild days and crisp, cool nights.
Precipitation averages 46.7 inches (1,186 mm) annually, and snowfall averages 49 inches (124 cm), most of which falls from mid-December to early March.
The first Springfield in the New World, during the American Revolution, George Washington designated it as the site of the Springfield Armory for its central location, subsequently the site of Shays' Rebellion.