Derby History Quiz

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Herbert H. Dow

Dow Chemical is one of the world's best known companies, but what is not so well known is that the founder of the company, Herbert Henry Dow, spent the first twelve years of his life growing up in Derby! He was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, on February 26, 1866, but the family's hometown was Derby, and Dow's father, Joseph, moved them back when Henry was only six weeks old. The  father was an inventor and mechanical engineer, and he found work as a master machinist for several local companies where he both improved and maintained their machines. That was a period of industrial growth and prosperity in Derby. The father worked mostly in the field of steam turbines. In 1873, Joseph went to work for the Derby Shovel Manufacturing Company. When the company relocated to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1878, and young Henry moved with his family at the age of  12.

According to various biographers, young Henry was inquisitive and industrious. At age ten, he earned enough money on his own to finance a trip to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. After leaving Derby with a solid foundation for life, he graduated from Case Western University where he studied chemistry though it is said that architecture was his first choice of study, but the university didn't have it.

His favorite saying was, "If we can't do it better than the others, why do it?" That same spirited seemed in tune with many of the people who lived and worked in Derby between the Civil War and World War I.

Correct answers were received from:  Normand Audet, Dave Petz,  Howard Bradshaw, Millie from Ansonia, Paul Mari,  Jack Skelding,  Dominick Thomas, Eileen Krugel,  Cyndi Poppa, Walt Mayhew, Mayor Marc J. Garofalo, MMeyer, Paul Comkowycz,  Joan Driscoll, and Ann Searles.

Thanks go to Randy Ritter and MarkAnthony Izzo for submitting this quiz!

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