Chicago September 29, 2017
Some People Don’t Know These 11 Things Came From Chicago
Chicago is known for many things, but there are a few inventions you would never guess someone came up with right here in the Windy City. From food to games and household items, here are 11 things the world might not have without Chicago.
We’re proud of our city for many reasons, and these are just a few. Check them out:
1. Farm Silos
This pertinent tool was invented in Spring Grove in 1873. Farmers used to store corn in long trenches causing some to become damp and be destroyed before this invention. The silo began as a square storage shelter on top of barn but is much more advanced today.
2. Yellow Pencils
Though they also debuted at the World's Fair in Paris, these classic writing utensils debuted at Chicago's World's Fair in 1893. They were originally made from the finest graphite from China, and the color was meant to represent royalty. Of course, that's not how pencils are perceived today, but they are still made here.
Speaking of yellow things, these sponge cakes stuffed with vanilla cream filling were invented by a man in Schiller Park in 1930. They were originally stuffed with banana cream, but the formula was quickly changed to the classic it is today.
4. Mobile Phones
The first handheld phone was created by an employee of Motorola in 1973 in Schaumburg. Cell phones have come a long way from bulky devices to flip phones to smartphones. Without this Chicago invention, we might still be using landlines.
This everyday device was first called the "clasp locker" in 1893 when it was introduced at the World's Fair in Chicago. It was originally a shoe fastener but was further developed over the years to be the interlocking set of teeth it is today.
6. Vacuum Cleaners
In 1869, this household necessity was born in a Chicago basement, like where most people keep it. The first were made from wood and canvas, making them lightweight but difficult to maneuver. It was called the "Whirlwind" when it debuted.
This dessert was invented by the wife of a man who owned the Palmer House hotel at the time of the World's Fair. She wanted to bake a treat similar to cake but with a different texture that would make it suitable for lunch boxes. It first appeared in a catalog in 1898 and was made with semi-sweet chocolate, crushed walnuts, and topped with an apricot glaze made from preserves.
8. Ferris Wheels
The inventor of this delightful attraction wanted to outdo the Eiffel Tower premier at Paris' World's Fair. The original had 36 passenger cars, each of which could hold 40 to 60 people. Nowadays, Chicagoans mostly visit Navy Pier to enjoy this incredible experience.
Chicago's Home Insurance Building is known as the world's first skyscraper. It was built in 1884, had 10 levels, and stood 138 feet tall. It was also the first steel frame structure ever made. The building was demolished in 1931 for the even taller LaSalle National Bank Building.
Though variations of this game go as far back as the 1300s, the modern version is believed to have been invented in Chicago on Thanksgiving Day in 1887 by George Hancock. In desperation to escape boredom, he tied a boxing glove into the shape of a ball, and the game was born.
The first McDonald's opened in 1955 in Des Plaines and has since expanded to just about every town and city in America, as well as many places abroad. Des Plaines is now home to a museum that is a replica of the first store.
12. Italian Beef
One of Chicago's tastiest inventions, this classic food was created during the Great Depression by Italian immigrants looking to make meat last longer. They roasted it, used bread to soak up the juices, and added peppers for flavor.
If you’re most interested in the food that Chicago has come up with, check out these
13 foods and drinks Chicagoans can’t get enough of.
What other inventions do you love that our city is responsible for? Share your favorites with us!