We’ve all heard some form of the “what happens in Vegas, stays there” line gazillions of times, but this article is about things that happened in Vegas, and Nevada, that didn’t stay here; things like Nevada inventions and inventors, a music video and a football formation.
From a killer rock band to a scrumptious treat, here are 12 awesome things that came from Nevada.
1. The Killers
The popular rock band emerged from the Battle Born State. Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards), Dave Keuning (guitar, backing vocals), Mark Stoermer (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums, percussion) played their first live show in Las Vegas in 2002 at the former Café Espresso Roma. They killed it!
2. Video slot machines
Video slot machines were developed in California by a Las Vegas-based company in 1976. The machines were first tested at the former Las Vegas Hilton Hotel (now The Westgate). The games were approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission and gained popularity on the Las Vegas Strip.
3. The required use of construction hard hats
Hard hats were not Nevada inventions, but the dam was likely the first construction project where workers were required to wear them.
4. Hydroelectric power for several states
The Hoover Dam isn’t just an engineering marvel. It is also one of the largest hydroelectric-powered dams in the world. It generates power for use in Nevada, Arizona and California.
5. "Mark Twain"
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, once called “the father of American literature,” moved to Nevada in 1861 to give mining a try. It didn't work out. He ended up writing for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise instead. The newspaper is where he first used his famous pen name, Mark Twain.
6. The quickie divorce industry
Prior to the 1900s, it was legally very difficult to end your marriage. With only a six month residency period for divorce-seekers (eventually only six weeks), Reno became a desirable destination. From lodging to gaming, an entire industry developed around divorce. By 1909, the city was considered the divorce headquarters for the U.S.
7. The birth of Levi's jeans
Jacob Davis, a tailor from Reno, is credited for inventing modern jeans. He developed the idea to reinforce the seams of “blue pants” with metal rivets to make them stronger. Davis and Levi’s founder, Levi Strauss, received the patent for this process on May 20, 1873. Thus, “blue jeans” were born.
8. Most U.S. gold
While we’re known as the Silver State, Nevada actually leads the nation in gold production. We’re No. 1!
9. The brain behind the Atomic Force Microscope
Electrical engineering professor Calvin Quate of Baker, Nevada invented the atomic force microscope in 1985 along with physics professor Christopher Gerber and professor Gerd Binnig. The three were selected in 2016 to receive the Kalvin Prize in Nanoscience.
10. The Pistol Formation
University of Nevada’s former head coach Chris Ault is credited with inventing the Pistol offense in 2005. This is an American football formation where the quarterback lines up four yards behind the center, with a running back lined up three yards behind him. The quarterback is thereby closer to the line of scrimmage. This formation is now used with great success by hundreds of football teams of all levels.
11. Eddie Money’s "Take Me Home Tonight" video
Eddie Money recorded the video for his ‘80s classic at the University of Nevada's Lawlor Events Center in Reno.
12. Ethel M Chocolates
Founded in 1981, the Ethel M chocolate factory and gift shop is located in Henderson. A tour of the super sweet factory ends with a free sample of delicious chocolate. Yum.
This is just a short list of things that came from Nevada. Can you think of anything else?