Pittsburgh June 17, 2017
Some People Don’t Know That Pittsburgh Was The First To Do These 10 Things
Pittsburgh frequently finds itself in the headlines for its medical and technical innovation and sports wins. It’s not new, of course, as the Burgh has been grabbing headlines for decades. Here are 10 things Pittsburgh was first to do that changed lives and, in some cases, the course of history.
1. WQED in Pittsburgh debuted as the nation’s first "community-supported" TV station.
Still a fixture in Pittsburgh television, WQED first went on the air on April 1, 1954. Since then, the station has gone on to win countless awards, including Emmy Awards and an Academy Award.
2. The first nighttime World Series game was held in Pittsburgh.
The 1971 World Series pitted the Pirates against the Baltimore Orioles. Game four of the series on October 13, 1971, kicked off at 8:15 p.m., the first nighttime World Series game in baseball history. The Pirates would go on to win the series four games to three.
3. Jonas Salk invented the first polio vaccine in Pittsburgh.
Dr. Jonas Salk made medical history – and saved countless lives – when he invented the polio vaccine in Pittsburgh in 1955.
4. The Ferris Wheel was invented in Pittsburgh.
Today, the Ferris Wheel is the focal point of just about every summer fair, festival, and amusement park. We owe the Ferris Wheel to George Ferris who created the favorite ride in Pittsburgh in 1892 but debuted it a year later at the World’s Fair in Chicago.
5. Pittsburghers enjoyed the first motion picture theater in the United States.
Going to the movie theater is a favorite pastime for many and it all began in the Burgh. Back in 1905, Pittsburghers started the trend of going to the movies when the Nickelodeon, the world’s first movie theater, opened.
6. The first "drive-in" gas station opened in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburghers were the first Americans to gas up their vehicles at a drive-in gas station, which opened on Baum Boulevard and St. Clair Street on December 1, 1913.
7. Pittsburghers ate the first McDonald’s first Big Macs, invented by a fellow Pittsburgher.
Three cheers to Jim Delligatti, a Pittsburgher and a McDonald’s franchisee who wanted to entice customers with a new, epic burger. Thus, the Big Mac was born and is now one of the world’s favorite burgers.
8. KDKA went on the air, becoming the United States’ first commercial radio station.
Pittsburghers tuned in to KDKA for election results. Election Day, November 2, 1920, was the first day KDKA went on the air.
9. Opening pop and beer cans became easier thanks to Alcoa in Pittsburgh.
Alcoa invented those easy to use pull tabs on pop and other aluminum cans. And, another hometown company, Iron City Brewery, was the first to switch over to the pull tabs on their products.
10. The Pittsburgh Steelers earned acclaim as the first team to win six Super Bowls.
Okay, most Pittsburghers already know that the Steelers were the first team to win six Super Bowls but it’s still worth a mention. The Steelers wrapped up their sixth Super Bowl win, edging out the Arizona Cardinals 27-23, on February 1, 2009.
Pittsburgh was first to do quite a few things. What else would you add to the list? Alas, there are some things Pittsburghers grew up with that we can no longer do.
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