|Exeter Bridge - Derby|
|Maintained by||Derby City Council|
|Designer||Charles Herbert Aslin|
|Total length||50 metres|
|Opened||March 20, 1929|
|Daily traffic||3,000 (2009 estimates)|
Derby's original Exeter Bridge started life as a timber footbridge built by the Binghams of Exeter House, in order to access their gardens on the other side of the River Derwent. Exeter House was eventually demolished because of cost and to allow improvements to the bridge to be made. The old Exeter bridge was demolished in 1929 and replaced by a single span concrete style designed by Charles Herbert Aslin of the City Architect's Department, who was also responsible for Derby's now demolished Art Deco Style Bus Station.
During construction a test was carried out to see if it would hold the weight of the traffic. Civil Engineers ran a procession of traction engines, steam rollers and heavy lorries across the bridge to see if it could take the strain.
It was officially opened by the minister of transport, Herbert Morrison on March 13, 1931.
- John Lombe, founder of the Silk Mill Museum one of England's first modern factories, now a World Heritage site.
- William Hutton, worked at the Silk Mill as a child before becoming a bookseller and writing the first published history of Derby in 1791.
- Herbert Spencer, born in Exeter Street, best known for coining the concept "survival of the fittest", which he did in Principles of Biology (1864), after reading Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species.
- Erasmus Darwin, Physician, botanist and poet, Darwin lived in Derby for the last 20 years of his life, dying at Breadsall Priory. Like Hutton he was a radical thinker, supporting the American Revolution.
- "First Exeter Bridge".
- "Exeter House Panelling". Derby.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
- "Four famous Derbeians".
- "Letter 5145 — Darwin, C. R. to Wallace, A. R., 5 July (1866)". Darwin Correspondence Project. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
Maurice E. Stucke. "Better Competition Advocacy" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-08-29.
Herbert Spencer in his Principles of Biology of 1864, vol. 1, p. 444, wrote “This survival of the fittest, which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called ‘natural selection’, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.”
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