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[14 DEC 00] UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK NEWS
Coventry's Previous Links With America
BY COVENTRY AND WARWICKSHIRE PROMOTIONS

Ten things you might not know about Coventry and its links with the United States. By Coventry and Warwickshire Promotions.

  • John Davenport, born in Coventry in 1597, became one of the pioneers of the New Haven colony, and helped to found Yale University.

  • Coventry-born Samuel Nutt played a surprising role in the American Revolution. The family firm of iron founders he established in Pennsylvania became one of the key suppliers of cannon to George Washington's armies.

  • Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne visited Coventry in 1855 and left a vivid account of the old city. He said it reminded him of Boston.

  • Americans played a key role in Coventry's fledgling engineering industries at the turn of the 20th century. Oscar Harmer from New York, was the first general manager for Alfred Herbert, later the world's biggest machine tool firm. Percy Martin from Columbus, Ohio, was works manager for the Daimler Company, pioneers of the British motor industry in Coventry in 1896. By 1906 he was managing director, a position he held for more than 20 years.

  • The Duryea company, based in the Radford area of Coventry from 1902-1908, is believed to have produced the first American car ever made outside the United States.

  • Percy Martin's son Jack founded the Smirnoff vodka family firm, which through a trust fund has been a major benefactor to the University of Warwick in Coventry.

  • The city's famous Godiva statue was unveiled by the wife of the American Ambassador to Britain in 1949.

  • Because of its booming car industry, Coventry was known as Britain's Detroit in the 1950s.

  • Jet pioneer Frank Whittle, born in Coventry in 1907, spent the last 20 years of his life in the United States. He died at his home in Maryland in 1996.

  • The city has three twin towns in the United States: Coventry, Connecticut; Coventry, Rhode Island; Coventry, New York State.

SEE [14 DEC 00]  TWITS TAKE CENTRE STAGE AT WARWICK

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CWN / Education / University of Warwick / 14 Dec 00
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