Derby is a city in the east midlands with a population of around 233,700 people, and it has numerous significant claims to fame along with an illustrious history that is undeniably rich in enterprise, industry and social benefit.
The computer game heroine Lara Croft was conceived in Derby by a start up firm of computer game designers based in the city, and part of the recently opened ring road was christened Lara Croft to celebrate the invention of this world-famous character in the city. The game in which the character appears is called Tomb Raider, which has become a global success since its small beginnings. The concept of Tomb Raider and Lara Croft has been taken forward successfully in numerous spin off developments, including two smash hit Hollywood movies starring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft.
These movies brought the character Lara Croft to life, but kept close to the original concept, conceived in Derby, of a beautiful young woman of noble parentage who dresses in skimpy tropical kit and swings through the jungle and other places with effortless ease and two large guns, holstered on each of her shapely hips.
Many people will be aware of Derby County Football Club, which won the Football League in 1975, before that in 1972 and won the FA Cup in 1946. Brian Clough was a particularly outspoken manager of the club during the 1970s and recently a Hollywood movie was made to portray his time as the manager of the club and the success that he achieved.
This spirit of enterprise in Derby is not new by any means. The city is well known as being an important centre of the industrial revolution in the United Kingdom in the eighteenth century. This was when industrialization was first being developed in this country, and workers found themselves moving away from rural endeavors on farms to working in factories operating machines that manufactured a range of items for sale.
The first ever silk mill in Britain was built in the city in the year 1717, and in 1759 a machine was developed by another industrialist to manufacture stockings, which were worn by men, women and children at the time instead of the long trousers that we are used to seeing today. What is believed to have been the world's first water powered cotton spinning mill was built in Derby in 1771.
A major development in the world of marine safety was developed in Derby. Many people will be familiar with the Plimsoll line which is a white horizontal line that is painted on the side of ships to show the limit to which the ship should be allowed to sink in the water. The Parliamentary bill for a Plimsoll line on ships was successfully introduced by the MP for Derby Samuel Plimsoll in 1876.
Plimsoll also introduced a number of other measures for marine safety such as the safety footwear that bears his name. Plimsolls are now known throughout the world as being light comfortable and inexpensive footwear with rubber soles that provide good grip on slippery surfaces.
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