Derby History Quiz

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Derby Industrialist Was Aviation Pioneer

Built and piloted America's first "helicopter"

The Williams-Berliner Helicopter

In an earlier quiz, we featured the work of Derby industrialist J. Newton Williams who invented his own typewriter which was manufactured in Derby under his name. Since then, we have discovered another significant side of the man's life that should not go unnoticed as the world moves beyond 100 years of flight because as you can see in this story from the New York Times, Nr. Newton can lay claim along with Emile Berliner to being the producer of America's first successful helicopter flight!

This flight took place before the better known Igor Sikorsky built his first helicopter in Russia. He did not come to the U.S. and start producing helicopters for another 30 years!

We want to thank Randy Ritter for suggesting this quiz and also doing some digging in old city directories to discover that Williams had a residence on Minerva Street in 1906 but moved to one street over to Caroline Street by 1913.

This quiz proved to be especially tough as only Eileen Krugel and Ann Searles knew both the invention and the inventor!

Just to be fair, we decided to give credit to the following people who at least identified the picture as a helicopter!:

L. Nappi, Frederick Picroski, Markanthony Izzo, Dominick thomas, Robert Scovin, Henry Jadach, Thomas Harbinson, Joan Driscoll, John Blue, George K. Yocher

To see our other earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.