Derby History Archives

Earlier modes of Transportation

Some of our earlier quizzes featured transportation in Derby. How many of these can you identify?

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The Schooner "Modesty" was the last ship built in the Ship Yard at East Derby. It is shown here being launched into the Housatonic River in 1868. Most of the ships built in Derby were used for carrying on trade with Boston, the Southern Plantations and the West Indies. Many fell into a category of boats known as "Boston Coasters."

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Derby was the first city in New England and only the second in the entire country to operate an "electric road." Pictured above is that first motor car on the first trolley in Derby in 1888. The electric car replaced a horse car line between Ansonia and Derby.

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Steam boating on the Housatonic appeared as early as 1824. Steamers plied between Shelton and New York city as late as World War I. Steam boats running between Derby and New York included the "Naugatuck", the "Ansonia", and the "Monitor" which was the last regularly scheduled vessel running between Derby and New York. It collided with another ship near off New York and the ensuing lawsuit bankrupted the Derby investors who had built the "Monitor".

An ad in the Derby Journal in June, 1847 for the "Naugatuck":

The Propeller Naugatuck will on and after Monday the 21st instant make two trips per week, and will leave Derby every Monday and Thursday at 5 o'clock P.M., and returning, will leave New York every Wednesday at 5 o'clock P.M. and Saturday at 4 o'clock P.M. Fare from Derby, $1.00 ; ditto from Stratford and Milford, 75 cents.

Information and pictures on this page taken from "The Derby Savings Bank - Highlights and Contrasts of One Hundred Years" published on the bank's 100th anniversary in 1946. Derby Savings Bank has since been acquired by Webster Bank.

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