A Heaven of Happiness: Inventor Michael Pupin in Norfolk

A Haven of Happiness: Inventor Michael Pupin in Norfolk Connecticut

Michael I. Pupin immigrated to the United States in 1874 arriving in New York with 5 cents to his name. The bright young man came here at the urging of his mother, as his education and prospects were few in his home town of Idvor, Banat, in what is now Serbia. Taking the first job he could find as a farm laborer, he quickly taught himself to speak and read English and improve his knowledge through night courses at Cooper Union. Within a short amount of time he was completing his college entrance exams to Columbia, and passed with flying colors. His curiosity with science and nature carried him far; further studies at Cambridge and later Berlin earned him his PHD. Returning to the US, he was given a job and title of Professor of Electro-Mechanics, a newly formed department at Columbia University. Pupin has 34 US Patents to his name, wrote several books, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1924 for his autobiography From Immigrant to Inventor.  Pupin married Sarah Katherine (Jackson) Agate, a widow in 1888.  They had a daughter Varvara in 1890,  and life seemed to be going well for him.  Tragedy struck in 1895/96 when he came down with a bout of pneumonia that nearly killed him.  He recovered but his wife became ill and died leaving him a widower with a young daughter.  Weak from his illness and distraught with grief,  he come to Norfolk Connecticut to regain his health.  It is here that our story begins.  The museum is open Saturday and Sundays 1:00 to 4:00 or by advanced appointment any day.