Cutting-Edge Cincinnati — Things That Happened Here First


Cincinnati – The “Queen City”

1793 – First settlement to publish a newspaper.

1853 – First city to establish a municipal fire department and first firemen’s pole.

1865 –  First train robbery in the U.S. occurred when a group of men tore up the tracks and derailed a train leaving Cincinnati. They robbed the passengers and were never caught.

1869 – First city to establish a weather bureau  (tornados – thank goodness!)

1869 – First professional baseball team –  the Cincinnati Red Stockings, now known simply as the Reds.


1875 – First city to establish a Jewish theological college – Hebrew Union College. They host many different educational events every year and have a strong influence in the community.

1880 – First city in which a woman, Maria Longworth Nichols Storer, began and operated a large manufacturing operation – Rockwood Pottery,

1880 – First and only city to build and own a major railroad. Discover more about it at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal Building, which houses the Museum Center.

1905 – Daniel Carter Beard founded the Sons of Daniel Boone, which later became the Boy Scouts of America.

1903 – The 16-story Ingalls Building was built in downtown Cincinnati, making it the world’s first reinforced concrete skyscraper.

1952 – First heart-lung machine makes open heart surgery possible. Developed at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

1954 – First city to have a licensed public television station – WCET-TV

2012 – First U.S. host city of the renowned World Choir Games

2017 – Baby hippo Fiona was born at the Cincinnati Zoo prematurely and was the first Nile hippo imaged on ultrasound prenatally by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Which of these facts surprised you most?


14 responses to “Cutting-Edge Cincinnati — Things That Happened Here First

  1. “Baby hippo Fiona was born at the Cincinnati Zoo prematurely and was the first Nile hippo imaged on ultrasound prenatally by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.” The imaging certainly qualifies as the most unusual, Juliann. 🙂 –Curt

    • Haha. It was the only way I could think to fit Fiona’s miraculous medical care into Cincinnati’s firsts. The zoo staff and Children’s Hospital staff worked round the clock to figure out how to keep her alive. They had to create a formula similar to hippo milk since she couldn’t nurse. Fiona made the news every day around here. She is the darling of our city.

  2. It makes you wonder who the Red Stockings played. Surely there must have been two teams. I was most surprised by the train robbery. I always think of paddle boats with Cincinnati and traffic up and down the Ohio River, never really trains.

    • Yes. It was fascinating to me, too. And well planned. As for the Reds’ opponents — I’m not sure who the first game was against, but I think the Reds were the first to pay their players.

  3. Every single one of these facts surprised me! I know so little about Cincinnati, but you are changing my few of the place in marvelous ways. Have you mentioned how Cincinnati got its name? I’m assuming a Native American name?

    • Actually, despite the huge Native American populations here, the name Cincinnati came from the Roman citizen soldier Cincinnatus and the Society of the Cincinnati because the governor of the territory at the time (1790) didn’t like the name Losantiville that it was then going by. Losantiville was a made up combination of words that expressed it as a “city across from the mouth of the Licking River.”

    • James – I learned a lot of it during my class to become a Certified Tourism Ambassador for Cincinnati, but other parts of it I gleaned from my own fandom of my hometown. Glad you found it interesting!

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