J. Newton Williams
Derby Industrialist Was Aviation Pioneer
Built and piloted America's first "helicopter"
In Derby industrialist J. Newton Williams was a pioneering industrialist with a vision for the future reflected in his work. Not only did he manufacture his own typewriter under his name in Derby, he was also a pioneer in American aviation. As you can see in the story on the left 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 some digging in old city directories to discover that Williams had a residence on Minerva Street in 1906 but moved one street over to Caroline Street by 1913.