Pittsburgh (and the surrounding area)
was the first city in the world to do a lot of remarkable things for the
first time! Listed below are some of these "firsts", and like Pittsburghese,
they are truly originals ...
First Heart, Liver,
Kidney Transplant - December 3, 1989. The first
simultaneous heart, liver and kidney transplant was done at
First Internet Emoticon - 1980.
The Smiley :-) was the first Internet
emoticon, created in 1980 by Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist
First Robotics Institute - 1979.
The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon
University was established in 1979 to conduct basic and applied res earch in
robotics technologies relevant to industrial and societal tasks. The college
is still working on Robots ~~ in fact it is their robots used in the
unmanned air craft that fly over Iraq.
First Mr. Yuk Sticker - 1971.
Mr. Yuk was created at the Poison Center at
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh after research indicated that the skull
and crossbones previously used to identify poisons had little meaning to the
children of today (for most children it means exciting things like pirates
and adventure). Covering 27 counties and 33 percent of Pennsylvania's
population, the Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children's Hospital of
Pittsburgh is the largest such center in the United States.
First Night World Series Game
- 1971. Game 4 of the 1971 World Series was
the first night game in Series history. Pittsburgh tied the series in that
game wi th a 4-3 win and went on to win the series, 4 games to 3. This was
one of the last big moments in the career of well-loved Pirate, Roberto
Clemente. Fourteen and a half months after the 1971 World Series, he died in
a plane crash off the coast of his native Puerto Rico as he attempted to
take food, clothing and medical supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
First Big Mac - 1967. Created
by Jim Delligatti at his Uniontown
McDonald's, the Big Mac debuted and was test marketed in three other
Pittsburgh-area McDonald's restaurants in 1967...Bellevue and Butler. By
1968 it was a mainstay on McDonald's menus throughout the country and
eventually, the world.
First Pull-Tab on Cans - 1962.
The pull-tab was developed by Alcoa and was
first used by Iron City Brewery in 1962! For many years, pull-tabs were only
used in this area.
First Retractable Dome -
September 1961. Pittsburgh's Civic Arena boasts
the world's first auditorium with a retractable roof. This is still being
used although the Hockey team wants to tear it down and build a new
First U.S. Public Television
Station - WQED - April 1, 1954. WQED,
operated by the Metropolitan Pittsburgh educational Station, was the first
community-sponsored educational television station in America and was also
the first to telecast classes to elementary schools (1955).
First Polio Vaccine - March 26,
1953. The polio vaccine was developed by
Dr. Jonas E. Salk, a 38-year-old University of Pittsburgh researcher and
professor, and his staff at the University of Pittsburgh.
First All-Aluminum Building -
ALCOA - August 1953. The first
aluminum-faced skyscraper was the Alcoa Building, a 30-story, 410 foot
structure ! with thin stamped aluminum panels forming the exterior walls.
(This building is still being used today.)
First Zippo Lighter - 1932. George
G. Blaisdell invented the Zippo lighter
in 1932 in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Although hardly a community "in the
surrounding area," you can even find the name of the manufacturing location,
either Bradford or Niagara Falls, stamped on the bottom of every Zippo
lighter. The name Zippo was chosen by Blaisdell because he liked the sound
of the word "zipper" - which was patented around the same time in nearby
First Bingo Game - early 1920's.
Hugh J. Ward first came up with the concept of
bingo in Pittsburgh and began running the game at carnivals in the early
1920s, taking it nation-wide in 1924. He secured a copyright on the game and
wrote a book of Bingo rules in 1933.
First U.S. Commercial Radio Station
- KDKA - November 2, 1920. Dr. Frank
Conrad, assistant chief engineer of Westinghouse Electric, first constructed
a transmitter and installed it in a garage near his home in Wilkinsburg in
1916. The station was licensed as 8XK. At 6 PM. on Nov. 2, 1920, 8KX became
KDKA Radio and began broadcasting at 100 watts from a makeshift shack atop
one of the Westinghouse manufacturing buildings in East Pittsburgh. (The
station is now KDKA.)
First Gas Station - December,
1913. In 1913, the first automobile
service station, built by Gulf Refining Company, opened in Pittsburgh at
Baum Boulevard and St. Clair Street in East Liberty. It was designed by J.
First Baseball Stadium in the
U.S. - 1909. In 1909 the first baseball
stadium, Forbes Field, was built in Pittsburgh, followed soon by si milar
stadiums in Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and New York. Forbes Field closed in
1970 when Three Rivers Stadium opened. PNC Park is the newest replacement,
opening in 2001.
First Motion Picture Theater - 1905.
The first theater in the world
devoted to the exhibition of motion pictures was the "Nickelodeon," opened
by Harry Davis on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh.
First Banana Split - 1904. The banana
split was invented by Dr. David
Strickler, a pharmacist, at Strickler's Drug Store in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
First World Series - 1903.
The Boston Pilgrims defeated the Pittsburgh
Pirates five games to three in baseball's first modern World Series in 1903.
The Pirates lost the final game 4-3, before a crowd of 7,455 in Boston. Four
of the series' games were played in Pittsburgh.
First Ferris Wheel - 1892/1893.
The first Ferris Wheel, invented by
Pittsburgh native and civil engineer, George Washington Gale Ferris
(1859-1896) was in operation at the World's Fair (Columbian Exposition) in
Chicago. It was over 264 feet high and was capable of carrying more than
2,000 passengers at a time.
First Long-Distance Electricity - 1885.
Westinghouse Electric developed
alternating current, allowing long-distance transmission of electricity for
the first time.
First Air Brake - 1869. The first
practical air brake for railroads was
invented by George Westinghouse in the 1860s and patented in 1869. In the
same year he organized the Westinghouse Air Brake Company. With additional
automatic features incorporated into its design, the air brake became widely
accepted, and the Railroad Safety Appliance Act of 1893 made air brakes
compulsory on all American trains.
Other interesting stuff that deals in
The STEELERS were purchased by Art
Rooney Sr. for $2500...they were
originally the Canton Bulldogs. They are the first team to win four super
bowls, now five after six appearances, and the first team to get in the
playoffs as a wild card and go all the way to win the Super Bowl.
Who came first, the Beatles or the Stones?
Well, the Rolling Stones came to Pittsburgh first on June 17, 1964 and played at
West View Park's Danceland. It cost $1.50 to see the show, a far cry from the
pricey stadium shows of today. Mick, Keith and the boys were considered a bit
too weird. They went back to England and perfected their trade. They returned
on November 24, 1965, after the Beatles stormed the Civic Arena and captured
the hearts and minds of Pittsburghers. The Fab Four conquered the 'Burgh on
September 14, 1964.
* Source unknown ... this
information came in an email *