1. Derby was the first factory in the world!
A new £17 million Museum of Making will commemorate Derby’s legacy of invention. The museum will chronicle the city’s 300-year history of “making,” showing over 50,000 artefacts, within the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the site of the world’s first factory. The renovation of this stunning and ancient structure will be one of the most significant historical initiatives in the UK once it opens, revealing the entire edifice to the public for the first time.
2. This year marks the 200th birthday of Derbyshire native Florence Nightingale!
The nursing pioneer was born on May 12, 1820, in Derbyshire, where her family had a huge estate. She was a part of an augmented reality piece that overlaid a computer-generated picture of ten renowned people in Derby city centre.
3. Derby ‘gave birth’ to Laura Croft and assisted in the creation of Batman!
Lara Croft, who has a street named after her in the city, is a fictitious character, yet the English archaeologist – beloved by millions in games and films – was “born” at Core Design in Derby. Meanwhile, local lad Liam Sharp, whose talent for art was discovered at his Derby school, is now a British comic book artist, writer, and publisher whose fame grew dramatically when he began working in the United States on books such as Superman and Batman for DC Comics and X-Men, Hulk, and Spider-Man for Marvel Comics.
4. Derby Cathedral soars above the city and contains England’s second tallest perpendicular church tower!
Its bells are the world’s oldest set of ten bells, one of which was cast in 1520 during Henry VIII’s reign and is still in service some 500 years later (making it one of the oldest working objects in Derby). Among its numerous treasures are Bess of Hardwick’s tomb, which was constructed by the strong woman herself, and the elaborate Bakewell Screen. Take a look at our articles regarding St. Peter’s Church and the Derbyshire Ice Cave Dwellings.
5. The Derby Museum & Art Gallery houses the world’s greatest collection of Joseph Wright paintings!
Joseph Wright of Derby was one of the most important painters of the late 18th century, and his works can be found in world-famous galleries in St Petersburg, New York, London, and Australia – but it is Derby that has the world’s largest collection of Joseph Wright paintings at the Museum & Art Gallery. Wright, who was born in Derby in 1734, remained deeply linked with his hometown, where he lived and worked for the most of his life.
6. The hot dog was invented in Derby.
Who knew Derby was the birthplace of this renowned American snack? That’s the assertion of Harry M Stevens, who used his catering abilities after emigrating to the United States in the 1800s. The tale says that he came up with the concept of placing ‘dachshund’ sausages into rolls to warm up spectators at his baseball concession in New York. He is credited with developing the baseball scorecard and pioneering soda sipping using a paper straw. Annie’s Burger Shack in Derby has been named the Best Burger Bar in England for 2019.
7. Royal Crown Derby was the first English exquisite bone china maker!
The business still retains the original design books from which the dinner set for the Titanic’s first-class passengers was picked.
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