10 Unique Facts About Pittsburgh Then and Now

Here are just a few great facts about Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh lies at the junction of three glorious rivers. It’s home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers and has a long and glorious history as the country’s top steel producer. But there’s more to Pittsburgh than sports and steel. Read on to learn some unique facts about Pittsburgh then and now.

Unique Facts about Pittsburgh Then

In 1803, Pittsburgh was known for boat building. One of the biggest companies to build boats at that time was Hay & Marbury, whose workers would love to converge at the “Ferry & Water Tavern” at the end of a hard day’s work. Also, the boat that Lewis & Clark used that same year was built in Pittsburgh.

Long before the Internet, Pittsburgh was known as the source of information. Pittsburgh’s high-quality newspapers included the “Pittsburgh Gazette,” the “Mercury,” the “Commonwealth” and the “Almanack”. Guess who was the editor of Mercury? John Snowden, a man known for his honesty and integrity.

How did people see at night in Pittsburgh with no street lights? The government paid workers to light lanterns each night that sat atop posts. This gave the city a lively nightlife and a romantic feel during the city’s famous golden age of steel making and shipbuilding.

In 1815, it was a regular practice for Pittsburgh men to get manicures. At the time, it cost about $2.25 for both a haircut and a manicure, but when women started getting manicures, the men of Pittsburgh declared them too feminine and stopped.

Ever wonder what the colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers really represent? The yellow, red and blue hypocycloids (the curve traced by a point on the circumference of a circle that is rolling on the interior of another circle) symbolize the colors of the materials used to make steel.

Unique Facts About Pittsburgh Now

Pittsburgh has more bridges than the city of Venice. Just how many bridges does it have? 445 bridges that cross over the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers. That’s why Pittsburgh is called the “City of Bridges.” How romantic!

From more recent history, did you know that the children’s television star Mr. Rogers was born and raised in Pittsburgh? In fact, the show, “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” is based on Oakland, a real-life Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Looking for some famous food? Pittsburgh should be on every foodie’s bucket list. Some of the most famous foods that hail from Pittsburgh include ketchup, the Klondike bar and the Big Mac, not to mention the best deli sandwiches in the world.

Einstein has been here. In fact, in 1934, he gave his first speech in English at the Carnegie Mellon theater for the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. There were 400 people in the audience, mostly scientists.

Pittsburgh is a livable city. Because of its past as a steel maker, the city was plagued by pollution, but today, it is filled with lots of green space and is ranked the 30th most livable city in the world and third most livable city in the United States. Because of this, real estate in Pittsburgh is getting more and more competitive. Pittsburgh is simply a great place to live for professionals and families!

10 thoughts on “10 Unique Facts About Pittsburgh Then and Now”

  1. Mr. Rogers was born and raised in Latrobe about 45 miles out of Pittsburgh! We Latrobeans are very proud of that fact.

  2. Hey, come on…I’m from Aliquippa, my cousin’s from Beaver, my ex- is from Ambridge and my BFF is from Mt Lebanon but when someone says “Hey, where are you from?” what do we ALL say? Yeah, I thought so. Funny how NO ONE’s from Pittsburgh yet EVERYONE’S from Pittsburgh even Fred Rogers.

  3. Mary Burns Holmes

    Wow, the photo with Carnegie in the middle, was take at the same time one was taken of Carnegie and my G+ Great Uncle, Thomas Noble Miller, who, was a childhood friend and sometimes business partner of Andrew. I have letters from my Uncle to Carnegie, where he refers to him as “Andy”. They grew up in the area now under the stadium.

  4. I grew up in Troy Hill. You could leave your house unlocked with no problem. We walked to school and were able to go home for lunch. The streetcar ran all the time up and down the hill. We have the St. Anthony Chapel which houses the second largest collection of relics outside of the Vatican, and has the body of a saint under the altar, and life size wooden stations of the cross. The first pastor of the Most Holy Name Church which is cattycorner to the chapel was not only a priest, but a physician. Many healings took place there.

  5. I am from Aliquippa, 1944 to 1964 those were my best years. Today Aliquippa is the most dangerous city per capa in the United States. I loved Aliquippa. Graduated from Aliquippa High School 1962

  6. Born in the actual city moved when year old to Suburb less that 1/2 mile from the city. Great city, but very corrupt politicians over the last 2 centuries. Love the views the fireworks are second to none. The rivers are our time out to relax and enjoy ourselves. Pittsburgh still produces large quantities of Steel and other important metals but we are much more modern and most plants produce almost no pollution and others give the city a bad name.

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