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Buffalo’s Great Inventors

Buffalo Skyline (lschrantz@Flickr)

I’m proud of my heritage. I’m proud of where I come from. Our sports teams have never won a major championship but I never give up hope. There’s a long list of famous people who were born and raised in Buffalo. There’s a lengthy list of things that were invented in Buffalo. We know chicken wings were invented here, but so were windshield wipers, the heart pacemaker, air conditioning, grain mills, non-dairy creamer and even the electric chair.

Beef on weck. It’s something you have to explain to visitors. The bar owner who invented it thought the salty rolls would make his customers drink more beer.

The first electric street lights in the world were invented in Buffalo. They lit up Ganson Street.

A, M & A’s was the first department store in the world to use electric lights.

American Express and the Pony Express were founded in Buffalo.

The first day care center in the world was in Buffalo.

Instant coffee was served for the first time at the Pan-Am Exposition in 1901.

Willis Carrier, a native of Buffalo, invented air conditioning.

A Buffalo dentist, Dr. Alfred Southwick, invented the electric chair.

Back then Buffalo had 60 millionaires – more per capita than any other city.

In 1901, Buffalo had more than 200 miles of paved roads – more than any other city in the world.

Larkin Soap Company at one time was the largest of its kind in the world.

Pratt and Lambert Paint Company was the largest in the world.

The country’s first-ever research center dedicated to finding a cure for cancer opened in Buffalo. Doctor Roswell Park was its director and it’s grown into one of the world’s most respected cancer research centers – Roswell Park Cancer Institute.


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