Three Rivers Heritage Trail
Firsts in the World from Pittsburgh.
For two centuries Western Pennsylvania has been a cradle of invention in industry and technology in many fields, from medicine to manufacturing. The unique topography of hills and valleys required innovation in bridge-building and the transportation industry. The busy workshops and mills produced business entrepreneurs, engineers and inventors. Pittsburgh's growing population of laborers triggered firsts in hospital care, new educational programs, types of entertainment, and free public libraries. The heritage continues today in many forms, from educational programs such as Mister Roger's Neighborhood, to organ transplants, to bioengineering research and to designing the comunications network for computers.
• Steamboat, New Orleans. First to navigate western waters, 1811
• Suspension Bridge. First successful wire cable bridge, built by John A. Roebling, 1845
• Air Brake. First used for a train, by George Westinghouse, 1869
• First automobile road map, provided by Gulf Oil, 1914
• First atomic engine. Built by Westinghouse Electric for submarine U.S.S. Nautilus, 1954.
• First Ferris Wheel. Invented by George Ferris, 1892/3
• First World Series in baseball. Pirates and Cubs, 1903
• First professionally-paid football player. William Heffelfinger, 1892
Ferris Wheel invented in Pittsburgh by George Ferris. The Ferris Wheel astonished the world at the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893 by carrying up to 2,000 people.
• Petroleum refining. Distilling process for petroleum, 1853/4
• First labor union. American Federation of Labor, 1881
• Aluminum. Produced commercially, by forerunners of ALCOA, 1889
• First aluminum-faced skyscraper, ALCOA building, 1953
The Pittsburgh star of the longest running program on public television. Family Communications, WQED.
• First federal hospital in America. Hand Hospital in Allegheny City, 1778
• Polio vaccine. Developed by Jonas Salk and staff at University of Pittsburgh, 1953
• Organ transplants. First heart, liver and kidney transplant in one operation at Presbyterian University Hospital, 1989
• Printing. First printing press to use a continuous roll of paper, 1863
• Carnegie Libraries. Free to the public, first in Braddock, PA, 1889
• First phonograph records regularly broadcast, from private garage in the East End, 1919
• First commercial radio station, KDKA,
• First community supported public television station in the United States, WQED, 1954
Erected by PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Steel Industry Heritage Corporation, City of Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, The Friends of the Riverfront.
Location. 40° 26.72′ N, 80° 1.089′ W. Marker is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker can be reached from Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Touch for map. Marker is behind the Carnegie Science Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: One Allegheny Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15212, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Langley Observatory Clock (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Pittsburgh Point (about 700 feet away); Three Rivers Stadium (approx. 0.2 miles away); County of Allegheny Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); First Professional Football Game (approx. ¼ mile away); Mary Cassatt (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Immaculate Reception (approx. 0.3 miles away); Byers-Lyon House (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pittsburgh.
Also see . . .
1. Carnegie Science Center. Next to the marker (Submitted on September 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Friends of the Riverfront - Three Rivers Heritage Trail. (Submitted on September 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Categories. • Entertainment • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Science & Medicine •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 257 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.