Pittsburgh December 21, 2017
10 Things You Didn’t Know About The History Of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh certainly has a rich history of which Pittsburghers can be proud. From the days of its founding by William Pitt to the 21st century, Pittsburgh has penned quite the story. Here are 10 fun facts about Pittsburgh that you may – or may not – already know.
1. Pull-up tabs on pop cans debuted courtesy of two Pittsburgh companies.
Imagine how tough life would be without those pull-up tabs on pop cans. Well, you can thank Alcoa and Pittsburgh Brewing Company for purchasing the license to that handy little invention. Pittsburgh Brewing Company was first to add the pull-up tabs to its Iron City Beer cans in 1962.
2. The Jeep: It’s a Burgh thing.
That’s right. The first Jeep, built for the Army, was invented in Butler County. The American Bantam Car Company invented and built the Jeep in 1940.
3. A UFO may have landed not too far from Pittsburgh.
Drive to Kecksburg today and you won’t be able to miss the large acorn that looms near the town. That acorn, a prop from the popular TV show "Unsolved Mysteries," represents the strange object that landed outside of town on December 9, 1965. Many believe the object was a UFO. NASA, however, asserts that no documents from that night exist any longer.
4. Just call ‘em the Inspector of the Steps.
If you live in or visit Pittsburgh, you can attest that the city has a
lot of steps. More than 700 sets, in fact. Responsible for ensuring all those steps remain in acceptable condition is the Inspector of Steps.
5. Copenhagen Tobacco got its start in the Burgh in 1822.
Pittsburgher George Weyman invented snuff, a smokeless tobacco in 1822. He ran Weyman & Bros until his death when the company was purchased and renamed. The U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company is still a thriving company in the 21st century.
6. Three cheers for the Jim Delligatti.
You might not recognize the name but, if you like fast food, you certainly know his invention. The Big Mac, of course. Delligatti created one of the world’s most famous sandwiches, right here in Pittsburgh, way back in 1967. Pittsburghers can learn more about the Big Mac at the museum of the same name in Irwin.
7. Medical history was made in 1989.
Presbyterian-University Hospital went down in medical history on December 3, 1989. On that day, surgeons performed the world's first kidney, heart, and liver transplant.
Who can resist a good, old-fashioned game of bingo? Not many. And, we have Pittsburgher Hugh J. Ward to thank for the world-famous game of bingo. Ward introduced bingo to the Burgh in 1920. Within four years, it was a hit around the country.
9. Pittsburgh just keeps making history.
The Monongahela Incline debuted in 1870. It holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating funicular in the United States.
10. WQED introduced the nation to public television.
That’s right. WQED, the first public television station, broadcast for the first time in 1954.
These fun facts about Pittsburgh are just the beginning.
Click here to see the best historical photos of the Steel City.
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