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Ohio has produced a number of "firsts" that might surprise you

Ohio is first to many things, how many can you name?
Ohio is first to many things, how many can you name?
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A lot of people know that Ohio Senator John Glenn was the first man to orbit the earth (and also the oldest), and that Neil Armstrong of Wapakoneta was the first man to walk on the moon. But Ohio is home to many other “firsts.” Here are a few that you can share with your friends to impress them:

  • Cars:  The first full time automobile service station was opened in 1899.  John Lambert of Ohio City made America's first automobile in 1891.  Charles Kettering of Loundonville invented the automobile self-starter in 1911.  And Cleveland introduced America’s first traffic light in 1914 and the first pedestrian button for control of a traffic light in 1948.
  • Cincinnati introduced the first ambulance service, the first professional city fire department, and the first professional baseball team.
  • Cleveland became the first city to be lighted electrically in 1879.
  • Dayton was home to the Wright Brothers, inventors of the first airplane.
  • Akron was the first city to use police cars.
  • Columbus is home to Oberlin College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the United States.
  • In 1852 Ohio was the first state to enact laws protecting working women.
  • And finally, Harry M. Stevens gave America its first hot dog in 1900.

For more facts about Ohio, you can check out this fun page on the Columbus City website.


  • Zachary Traxler 5 years ago

    This is a very interesting article. I have to admit, I knew a few of these, but I was misinformed on most of the other information. I am going to forward this to the Ohio Ambassadors Program. Maybe fun facts will be more inciting than a large Longaberger Basket.

    Thanks for all your support of Manta ;)

    Zachary Traxler
    Marketing Analyst & (Young Professional) Ohio Ambassador

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