New ideas and inventions are thought up every day. Some will work, some won’t, and some are not very useful at all. The most impressive things are the ones that have lasted throughout time and are still used today. From constitutional laws to gadgets, these 17 things began in Vermont and are here to stay. While you are likely familiar with these things, you may not have known that they originally came from Vermont.
1. Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
Vermont issued the first stamp. Philatelists (people who study and collect stamps) credit Brattleboro with producing America's first postage stamp in 1846.
2. Need a lift?
The first rope tow for skiers in the United States was installed in Woodstock in 1934 by Bob and Betty Royce, proprietors of the White Cupboard Inn. Wallace "Bunny" Bertram took it over for the second season, improved the operation, and changed the name from Ski-Way to Ski Tow. He eventually moved it to what became the eastern fringe of Vermont's major southern ski areas, a regional resort still operating as Suicide Six.
3. Check, please!
The first Social Security check was issued to Ida M. Fuller of Ludlow who received check #000-000-001 for $22.54, January 31, 1940.
4. Love is love.
In 2000, the Vermont civil union bill was a landmark in the fight over gay marriages. For the first time, a state allowed gay couples to have all the same benefits as married couples under state law.
5. Equality for all.
Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery in their constitution in 1777.
6. Let us decide.
In 2014, Vermont passed a mandatory genetically modified (GM) ingredient labeling law that requires most human food products containing GM ingredients to include on-package labeling. This was the first mandatory-labeling law for genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Vermont signed a bill making it the first U.S. state to ban fracking, the controversial practice to extract natural gas from the ground.
8. That makes cents.
Vermont was the first state to mint a copper penny. They were authorized by the Vermont General Assembly in 1785 and made by Reuben Harmon.
9. Attention, class.
Vermont's 1777 constitution made it the first state to mandate public funding for universal education.
10. Marvelous marble.
The country's first commercial marble quarry was opened in South Dorset by Isaac Underhill in 1785.
11. What a wonderful world.
The first globe factory was established in 1813 by James Wilson of Bradford for the manufacture of geographic globes. Wilson made the first artificial globe in America in 1799, and in 1813, he opened the first geographic globe factory in the US and sold his initial 13-inch globe for $50.
12. It's hip to be square.
Silas Hawes, a blacksmith living in South Shaftsbury, decided to make rules, or squares, which were used by carpenters (and still are). He sold them for $6-$7 each, as there was a big demand for them, and he obtained a patent and in 1817 began manufacturing them.
13. We salute you.
Norwich was the first of all private military colleges in the nation and is the birthplace of ROTC. Norwich was also the first private institution in the country to teach engineering.
14. The fish are biting.
The first fishing spoon lure was invented in 1830 by Julio Buel of Castleton, Vermont.
15. Scratch that.
The first recorded use of sandpaper was in 1st-century China when crushed shells, seeds, and sand were bonded to parchment using natural gum. A process for making sandpaper was patented in the United States on June 14, 1834 by Isaac Fischer, Jr., of Springfield.
16. Step on it.
The first platform scale was built by Thaddeus Fairbanks at St. Johnsbury in 1830.
17. It's no laughing matter.
Laughing gas was discovered by Gardner Colton of Georgia. Dental patients everywhere are certainly glad for this discovery!
Did you know these things started right here in Vermont? Please share other things you may know of that came from the 802.