Derby History Quiz

Sterling Piano Factory

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Our first quiz of 1998 was a tough one as we had a lot of guesses, but it took a while for many people to pin down the Sterling Piano Factory pictured above. If you look carefully enough, you can see the spires of the churches on the Green as well as St. Mary's Church in the back ground. We want to thank the Derby Historical Society which provided this picture. Click here for their fuller account of the history of Sterling Piano.

Correct answers were submitted by:
Listed in the order in which they were received
Pablo Barriga
C. F. Douglas
Markanthony Izzo
Jennifer Barriga
Bernie Williamson
Marc Garofalo
Paul & Maria Blackwell - our most persistent contestants!
Ed Cotter
Randy Ritter

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Charles Sterling

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The Sterling Piano

The Sterling Piano Factory was once the largest manufacturing employer in the City of Derby. Founded in 1866 by Charles Sterling, the Sterling Company was known world wide for its quality. Mr. Sterling had previously had a number of other business successes. He continued as the head of the company until his death in 1887. The company actually manufactured organs until 1884, when the piano was first introduced.

The company's location was in the area near the current Water and Factory Streets. The massive facility included sixteen buildings and employed over 300 men. The buildings fronted on a canal which no longer exists and was serviced by a spur railroad line at the rear of the facility. The capacity of the factory was sixteen pianos and ten organs a day.

Later in its history the company opened a second factory in Shelton - the Huntington Piano Factory - which produced a lower cost piano. In later years, that factory became the Shelton Community Center and then the Boys Club before being destroyed by fire.

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

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