Derby History Quiz

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Bank note from the Derby Fishing Company

A previous quiz focused on the disappearance of Shad from the Housatonic River as a viable industry following the building of the Ousatonic Dam. Well for a short time around the turn of the century (The 19th century) the Derby Fishing Company was doing quite well in the fish trade, but not in shad. The bank note pictured above was a symbol of a thriving fishing trade here. However, the Derby Fishing Company's trade was a world trade that included cod taken from the banks of Newfoundland and shipped directly to Spain, France and Italy, Returning to Derby the hulls of the boats pulled up to Derby landing with the exotic products of the European and Mediterranean states. However a series of unfortunate events conspired to drive the company out of business and seriously depress the local economy. Insurance losses, the seizure of ships by France and England and the building of new roads to the harbors in New Haven and Bridgeport crippled the company and eventually drove them out of business. The building of the roads seriously damaged the trade between inland farmers and the West Indies.

The disruption of this trade was an economic disaster for the city that rivals the ups and downs of today's stock market - and it would not recover until the Industrial Revolution swept in and brought a new wave of prosperity.

Correct answers were received from: Millie from Ansonia, John Whalen, Eileen Krugel, ken dupke, Paul Mari, Jack Skelding, Fred Grant, Kimberley Shelton, PAUL COMKOWYCZ, John Asp, Howard Bradshaw, Randy Ritter, and Alison ?.

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