Steel City IQ: Fun Facts About the 'Burgh - Pittsburgh Article

Steel City IQ: Fun Facts About the 'Burgh


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Steel City IQ: Fun Facts About the 'Burgh


        Follow @nyccitiview

Steel City IQ: Fun Facts About the 'Burgh

Published Nov 14, 2013
Updated Feb 24, 2017
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Historical Facts

Pittsburgh was named in 1758, by General John Forbes, in honor of British statesman William Pitt.

One of Pittsburgh’s earliest industries was the manufacturing of boats for settlers to use to enter the Ohio country.

The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) was chartered in 1787.

George Washington’s only defeat was when French forces overwhelmed Fort Necessity, (near Uniontown) in 1754 to begin the French-Indian War.

Andrew Carnegie formed the Edgar Thompson Steel Works which later became the Carnegie Steel Company.

During World War II Pittsburgh produced 95 million tons of steel towards the war effort.

President Obama selected Pittsburgh as the site for the world’s G-20 Summit in 2009 due to its resilient economy.

Fun Facts

More than 50 major films have been made in Pittsburgh including Wonder Boys, The Deer Hunter, Sudden Death, Inspector Gadget and The Dark Knight Rises.

Heinz Ketchup was invented in Pittsburgh by H.J. Heinz. The company has been headquartered here since 1890.

The Pittsburgh Opera is the nation’s fifth oldest founded in 1939 and is the first “green” opera company in the US.

Pittsburgh is within 500 flying miles of more than half the country’s population.

Pittsburgh has more steps in the city than Cincinnati and San Francisco combined.

Reggae superstar Bob Marley’s final concert was in Pittsburgh, at the Stanley Theater (now the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts) on September 23, 1980.

Pittsburgh is home to several highly respected universities including the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Carlow University and Carnegie Mellon University.

Pittsburgh has a total of 446 bridges in the city. Three more than Venice, Italy which is often referred to as the “City of Bridges.”

Pittsburgh claims 24 sister cities around the world. A few of them are: Zagreb, Croatia; Sheffield, United Kingdom; Terrassa, Spain; Matanzas, Cuba; Misgav, Israel and Da Nang, Vietnam.

Tommy James came to Pittsburgh to recruit members of the Shondells after a KDKA disc jockey made a hit of Hanky Panky two years after he had recorded it.

Famous Firsts

KDKA was the world’s first commercial radio station beginning broadcasts in November of 1920.

The Pittsburgh Gazette was the first newspaper west of the Allegheny Mountains and was founded in 1789.

WQED, launched in 1954, was the world’s first public television station.

Pittsburgh hosted the very first night time World Series game in 1971 between the Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles.

The pull-tab was developed by Alcoa and was first used by Pitts- burgh’s Iron City Brewery in 1962

Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena was the world’s first auditorium with a retractable roof, built in 1961.

The first automobile service station, built by Gulf Refining Company, opened here in 1913.

The first “Mr. Yuk!” sticker was produced here, in 1971, by the Poison Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Forbes Field, the original home of the Pirates, was the first baseball stadium built in 1909.

The world’s first movie theater was opened in Pittsburgh in 1905 on Smithfield Street.

The Big Mac was developed by Uniontown, PA McDonald’s franchisee, Jim Delligatti, in 1967.

The Zippo Lighter was invented in nearby Bradford, PA, in 1932.

The first BINGO game was held in Pittsburgh in the early 1920’s. It spread nationwide by 1924.

The opening of the first wire cable suspension aqueduct bridge, spanning the Allegheny River,
was in May 1845. It was designed by Pittsburgher John A. Roebling who later designed the Cincinnati-
Covington Suspension Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge

Corporate HQ

84 Lumber was founded in 1956 by Joe Hardy, about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh in the town of Eighty Four

Mellon Financial Corporation was founded in 1869 by Thomas Mellon and his sons Andrew W. Mellon and Richard B. Mellon, as T. Mellon & Sons’ Bank.

PNC Bank is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has branches in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Delaware, Kentucky and New Jersey.

Alcoa is the world’s leader in aluminum production and produced its first aluminum in the Strip District as
the Pittsburgh Reduction Company.

American Eagle Outfitters has a corporate office in the South Side Works. 

Bayer Corporation is headquartered in Pittsburgh.

Calgon Carbide was originally the Pittsburgh Coke & Iron Company and is responsible for purifying drinking water and wastewater treatment.

Heinz was founded in Pittsburgh in 1865 and originally only offered grated horseradish.
PPG Industries, originally Pittsburgh Plate Glass, was founded here in 1883.

Westinghouse Electric was formed here in 1886.

US Airways was originally a flying post office to deliver mail in Western Pennsylvania and the Ohio Valley. They are now the 5th largest passenger airline in the US.

US Steel Company is still the nation’s largest producer of steel products. They also produce oil and natural gas.

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