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Old 07-21-2008, 03:23 PM   #1
HometownGal
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Exclamation Some Little Known (but interesting) Facts About Da Burgh!

Pittsburgh is celebrating its 250-year anniversary this year. For those of you that lived near Pittsburgh, this will just jog your memory. If you didn't live here, it will be some trivia for you. Pittsburgh (and some surrounding areas) was the first city in the world to do a lot of neat things! Here are a few of the most well-known:

First Heart, Liver, Kidney Transplant - December 3, 1989. The first simultaneous heart, liver and kidney transplant was done at Presbyterian-University Hospital.

The First Internet Emoticon - 1980 . The Smiley :-) was the first Internet emoticon, created in 1980 by Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Scott Fahlman.

First Robotics Institute - 1979. The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University was established in 1979 to conduct basic and applied research in robotics technologies relevant to industrial and societal tasks. The college is still working on Robots ~~ in fact it is their robots used in the unmanned air
craft that fly over Iraq.

First Mr. Yuk Sticker - 1971. Mr. Yuk was created at the Poison Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh after research indicated that the skull and
crossbones previously used to identify poisons had little meaning to the children of today (for most chi ldren it means exciting things like pirates and
adventure). Covering 27 counties and 33 percent of Pennsylvania's population, the Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is the largest such center in the United States.

First Night World Series Game - 1971. Game 4 of the 1971 World Series was the first night game in Series history. Pittsburgh tied the series in that game
with a 4-3 win and went on to win the series, 4 games to 3. This was one of the last big moments in the career of well-loved Pirate, Roberto Clemente.
Fourteen and a half months after the 1971 World Series, he died in a plane crash off the coast of his native Puerto Rico as he attempted to take food,
clothing and medical supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

First Big Mac - 1967. Created by Jim Delligatti at his Uniontown McDonald's, the Big Mac debuted and was test marketed in three other Pittsburgh-area McDonald's restaurants in 1967...Bellevue a nd Butler. By 1968 it was a mainstay on McDonald's menus throughout the country and eventually, the world.

First Pull-Tab on Cans - 1962. The pull-tab was developed by Alcoa and was first used by Iron City Brewery in 1962 For many years, pull-tabs were only used in this area.

First Retractable Dome - September 1961. Pittsburgh's Civic Arena boasts the world's first auditorium with a retractable roof. This is still being used
although the Hockey team wants to tear it down and build a new building.

First U.S. Public Television Station - WQED - April 1, 1954. WQED, operated by the Metropolitan Pittsburgh educational Station, was the first community-sponsored educational television station in America and was also the first to telecast classes to elementary schools (1955).

First Polio Vaccine - March 26, 1953. The polio vaccine was developed by Dr. Jonas E. Salk, a 38-year-old University of Pittsburgh researcher and professor, and his staff at the University of Pittsburgh.

First All-Aluminum Building - ALCOA - August 1953. The first aluminum-faced skyscraper was the Alcoa Building, a 30-story, 410 foot structure with thin
stamped aluminum panels forming the exterior walls. (This building is still being used today.)

First Zippo Lighter - 1932. George G. Blaisdell invented the Zippo lighter in 1932 in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Although hardly a community "in the surrounding area," you can even find the name of the manufacturing location, either Bradford or Niagara Falls, stamped on the bottom of every Zippo lighter. The name Zippo was chosen by Blaisdell because he liked the sound of the word "zipper" - which was patented around the same time in nearby Meadville, PA.

First Bingo Game - early. Hugh J. Ward first came up with the concept of bingo in Pittsburgh and began running the game at carnivals in the early 1920's, taking it nationwide in 1924. He secured a copyright on the game and wrote a book of Bingo rules in 1933.

First U.S. Commercial Radio Station - KDKA - November 2, 1 920. Dr. Frank Conrad, assistant chief engineer of Westinghouse Electric, first constructed
a transmitter and installed it in a garage near his home in Wilkinsburg in 1916. The station was licensed as 8XK. At 6 PM. on Nov. 2, 1920, 8KX became
KDKA Radio and began broadcasting at 100 watts from a makeshift shack atop one of the Westinghouse manufacturing buildings in East Pittsburgh. (The station is now KDKA.)

The First Gas Station - December, 1913. In 1913, the first automobile service station, built by Gulf Refining Company, opened in Pittsburgh at Baum Boulevard and St. Clair Street in East Liberty. It was designed by J. H. Giesey.

The First Baseball Stadium in the U.S. - 1909. In 1909 the first baseball stadium, Forbes Field, was built in Pittsburgh, followed soon by similar stadiums in Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and New York.. Forbe s Field closed in 1970 when Three Rivers Stadium opened. PNC Park is the newest replacement, opening in 2001.

First Motion Picture Theater - 1905. The first theater in the world devoted to the exhibition of motion pictures was the "Nickelodeon," opened by Harry
Davis on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh.

First Banana Split - 1904. The banana split was invented by Dr. David Strickler, a pharmacist, at Strickler's Drug Store in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

The First World Series - 1903. The Boston Pilgrims defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates five games to three in baseball's first modern World Series in 1903.
The Pirates lost the final game 4-3, before a crowd of 7,455 in Boston. Four of the series' games were played in Pittsburgh.

First Ferris Wheel - 1892/1893. The first Ferris Wheel, invented by Pittsburgh native and civil engineer, George Washington Gale Ferris (1859-1896) was
in operation at the World's Fair (Columbian Ex position) in Chicago. It was over 264 feet high and was capable of carrying more than 2,000 passengers at
a time.

Long-Distance Electricity - 1885. Westinghouse Electric developed alternating current, allowing long-distance transmission of electricity for the first
time.

First Air Brake - 1869. The first practical air brake for railroads was invented by George Westinghouse in the 1860's and patented in 1869. In the same
year he organized the Westinghouse Air Brake Company. With additional automatic features incorporated into its design, the air brake became widely accepted, and the Railroad Safety Appliance Act of 1893 made air brakes compulsory on all American trains.

The STEELERS were purchased by Art Rooney Sr. for $2500...they were originally the Canton Bulldogs. They are the first team to win four Super Bowls, now five after six appearances, and the first team to get in the playoffs as a wild card and go all the way to win the Super Bowl.

The Pittsburgh Rens played basketball at the Civic Arena but are no longer in existence.

The Rolling Stones came to Pittsburgh first and played at West View Park Danceland. It cost 50 cents. They were considered too weird and went back to England and came back after the Beatles broke the ice.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Some Little Known (but interesting) Facts About Da Burgh!

Picking some of them out,

Quote:
First Mr. Yuk Sticker - 1971. Mr. Yuk was created at the Poison Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh after research indicated that the skull and crossbones previously used to identify poisons had little meaning to the children of today (for most chi ldren it means exciting things like pirates and
adventure). Covering 27 counties and 33 percent of Pennsylvania's population, the Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is the largest such center in the United States.
Everyone sing along... "Mr Yuk is green, Mr Yuk is mean!"


Quote:
First Night World Series Game - 1971. Game 4 of the 1971 World Series was the first night game in Series history. Pittsburgh tied the series in that game with a 4-3 win and went on to win the series, 4 games to 3. This was one of the last big moments in the career of well-loved Pirate, Roberto Clemente. Fourteen and a half months after the 1971 World Series, he died in a plane crash off the coast of his native Puerto Rico as he attempted to take food, clothing and medical supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
I was at that game; Baltimore scored 3 in the first off Luke Walker, and rookie Bruce Kison came in and shut them down completely, giving up only one hit over the next 6 innings. Clemente had 3 singles, Stargell doubled in a run, Oliver doubled in a run. What I remember most is Kison, that lean frame and whip-like delivery; he was a mean SOB on the mound. He hit 3 guys that game.

Quote:
First Big Mac - 1967. Created by Jim Delligatti at his Uniontown McDonald's, the Big Mac debuted and was test marketed in three other Pittsburgh-area McDonald's restaurants in 1967...Bellevue a nd Butler. By 1968 it was a mainstay on McDonald's menus throughout the country and eventually, the world.
I remember when they hit the menu at the South Park McDonald's. It was amazing. Big Mac with the fries on the sandwich, and ketchup on top... fries on the sandwich is a Burgh thing, always has been and always will be.

Quote:
First Pull-Tab on Cans - 1962. The pull-tab was developed by Alcoa and was first used by Iron City Brewery in 1962 For many years, pull-tabs were only used in this area.
My uncle Stan used to drink Irons because he could keep the tabs on his finger, to keep track of how many beers he'd drank.

Quote:
First U.S. Public Television Station - WQED - April 1, 1954. WQED, operated by the Metropolitan Pittsburgh educational Station, was the first community-sponsored educational television station in America and was also the first to telecast classes to elementary schools (1955).
Propel, propel, propel your craft,
Softly through liquid solution.
Ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically,
Existence is but an illusion.

-King Friday.

A testament to the persistence of memory, I was singing that to myself just yesterday, as I was working in the garage. Hard to imagine, now that we have 200 channels going 24/7, but we used to sit in front of a grainy test pattern waiting for that show to come on. Josie Carey was every bit as much of "The Children's Corner" as Fred Rogers was. It didn't become "Mr Rogers Neighborhood" until later.

Quote:
First Polio Vaccine - March 26, 1953. The polio vaccine was developed by Dr. Jonas E. Salk, a 38-year-old University of Pittsburgh researcher and professor, and his staff at the University of Pittsburgh.
And we all still have the lump on our shoulder. I remember the relief we all felt when they switched over to the sugar cubes.

Quote:
First U.S. Commercial Radio Station - KDKA - November 2, 1 920. Dr. Frank Conrad, assistant chief engineer of Westinghouse Electric, first constructed
a transmitter and installed it in a garage near his home in Wilkinsburg in 1916. The station was licensed as 8XK. At 6 PM. on Nov. 2, 1920, 8KX became
KDKA Radio and began broadcasting at 100 watts from a makeshift shack atop one of the Westinghouse manufacturing buildings in East Pittsburgh. (The station is now KDKA.)
It was all we listened to growing up in the '50s and '60s, because they carried the Buccos; hard to imagine today, but the Steelers were an afterthought in the Burgh back in the '60s. On nights when the Bucs weren't playing, they had Ed & Wendy King's "Party Line", where people called in and talked about life, shared recipes, played games and competed in mind contests. It was a simple time, for sure. The Steelers switched to 1250 some time in the late '60s. "Party Line" was the first radio station talk show, another "first" for the Burgh.

Now that older stuff, I can't say. Thanks for sharing this, HTG!

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Old 07-21-2008, 04:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Some Little Known (but interesting) Facts About Da Burgh!

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Picking some of them out,


It was all we listened to growing up in the '50s and '60s, because they carried the Buccos; hard to imagine today, but the Steelers were an afterthought in the Burgh back in the '60s. On nights when the Bucs weren't playing, they had Ed & Wendy King's "Party Line", where people called in and talked about life, shared recipes, played games and competed in mind contests. It was a simple time, for sure. The Steelers switched to 1250 some time in the late '60s.

Now that older stuff, I can't say. Thanks for sharing this, HTG!
Ed & Wendy on Party Line - - they would tell what the callers were saying but you never heard the callers - Prince and Joe Tucker did the Steelers games when I first started following them - agreed KD owned Pittsburgh radio (Rege Cordic/Jack Bogut/Mike Levine/Art Pallan/Clark Race) although I confess to switching to KQV with Chuck Brinkman and WIXZ 1360 (they had some guy named Jeff Christie - wonder what happened to him?) once I was old enough to follow 60s music.

HTG - thanks for the memories
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Some Little Known (but interesting) Facts About Da Burgh!

More on "Party Line"; it seems it was the first radio talk show ever, another Burgh first! I edited my other post to add that...

http://cordic-and-co.com/aco/PartyLine.htm

http://cordic-and-co.com/aco/ed_n_wendy.htm

And of course, there was Ed Shaughnessy (Ed Chauncey, it was always pronounced).
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Some Little Known (but interesting) Facts About Da Burgh!

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First Big Mac - 1967. Created by Jim Delligatti at his Uniontown McDonald's, the Big Mac debuted and was test marketed in three other Pittsburgh-area McDonald's restaurants in 1967...Bellevue a nd Butler. By 1968 it was a mainstay on McDonald's menus throughout the country and eventually, the world.
Wow! I never thought that I ever be posting this in a Steeler forum.
My Grandfather was the 1st person to purchase a "Big Mac" in my hometown Uniontown in 1967 and he paid .49 cents! Funny thing is he never had another one his whole life! Everyone else loved it, he said it was to messy! I remember when I was younger watching the Steelers on sundays with him and all my uncles, everytime a commercial for McDonalds came on singing the Big Mac song; He would say with a straight face......" What's all the big fuss about?" They took down his name and sent him a plaque. As much as he disliked the Big Mac It was his claim to fame...... That plaque hung on the wall right next to the family portait until the day he died! My grandmother lost it in a fire 3 years later. Crazy story but it's true!
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Some Little Known (but interesting) Facts About Da Burgh!

wow. i didnt know half that stuff. Mr. rogers on pbs is explained.

Quote:
My uncle Stan used to drink Irons because he could keep the tabs on his finger, to keep track of how many beers he'd drank.
i wonder if this is where the phrase "running a tab" at a bar comes from?

great stuff HTG. wasnt the klondike bar also invented in pgh?
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:11 PM   #7
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wow. i didnt know half that stuff. Mr. rogers on pbs is explained.



i wonder if this is where the phrase "running a tab" at a bar comes from?

great stuff HTG. wasnt the klondike bar also invented in pgh?
At Isaly's. But Wiki says Isaly's was a Youngstown company?
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:14 PM   #8
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At Isaly's. But Wiki says Isaly's was a Youngstown company?
So it says - Klondikes. chipped ham, and skyscraper cones always seemed like a Burgh thing to me
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:18 PM   #9
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At Isaly's. But Wiki says Isaly's was a Youngstown company?
i wasnt around for the 1st klondike but, my grandma always took me up the alley to isalys on butler st. for ice cream. good times.
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:58 PM   #10
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The First Internet Emoticon - 1980 . The Smiley :-) was the first Internet emoticon, created in 1980 by Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Scott Fahlman.
Dr. Fahlman still teaches at CMU, and the School of Computer Science had a big celebration last year marking the emoticon's anniversary. Sounds silly, but that was a pretty big deal around here.

Quote:
First Robotics Institute - 1979. The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University was established in 1979 to conduct basic and applied research in robotics technologies relevant to industrial and societal tasks. The college is still working on Robots ~~ in fact it is their robots used in the unmanned air
craft that fly over Iraq.
They also developed the Pathfinder rover that went to Mars, did some work on both Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers and are currently developing a rover that will eventually land on the Moon.

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First Retractable Dome - September 1961. Pittsburgh's Civic Arena boasts the world's first auditorium with a retractable roof. This is still being used
although the Hockey team wants to tear it down and build a new building.
Not "wants to," but "going to." The new arena is being built as we speak, and will be open in 2010. They plan on imploding Mellon Arena shortly after the Pens play their last game of the 2009-10 season. I'd still love to see them open the roof one last time for a Pens game in their final season. They say they have enough money to do it only once more, so why not? It would be awesome!

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First Motion Picture Theater - 1905. The first theater in the world devoted to the exhibition of motion pictures was the "Nickelodeon," opened by Harry
Davis on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh.
There is a plaque marking where this stood, but I can't remember where it is on Smithfield St. A little help from our fellow Pittsburghers here?
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