Pennsylvania has a long list of interesting firsts in US History and one that has had major implications on the petroleum industry and our way of life.
Pennsylvania ranks first in the production of potato chips and in growing potatoes for the production of potato chips. There is an estimate of 24 manufacturing plants for potato chips in PA with 16 being independent companies. Pennsylvania produces approximately of the U.S. national supply. But that's not all.
Pennsylvania is the also first in production of pretzels. They were introduced in the 19th century by southern German and Swiss German immigrants (now known as Pennsylvania Dutch) who are generally credited with the introduction of pretzels to North America. PA produces approximately 80% of the U.S. national supply. Average Americans consume approximately 1.5 lbs of pretzels per year and April 26 is considered National Pretzel Day. Pennsylvania also boasts these firsts:
- The first capital of the U.S. was York, PA.
- The first hospital of the U.S. was the Pennsylvania Hospital founded in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin and located in Philadelphia.
- The first zoo in 1874 located in Philadelphia.
- The first newspaper, television broadcast, radio broadcast and educational public T.V. station, cable T.V.
- The first locomotive for use on the railroad and the first multi-lane highway (PA Turnpike).
- The first electronic computer built and the first commercial use of a computer.
Pennsylvania is also known for being the first in a number of licensed deer hunters. With approximately 1 million. Also, we host the Mushroom Capital of the U.S. in Kennett Square, Chester County.
And then there's oil.
The most important oil well ever drilled was in the middle of quiet farm country in northwestern Pennsylvania in 1859. This was one of the first successful oil wells that was drilled for the sole purpose of finding oil. Known as the Drake Well, after "Colonel" Edwin Drake, the man responsible for the well, it began an international search for petroleum, and in many ways eventually changed the way we live.
Read our next post for more information on the birth of a petroleum industry that surprisingly took place in Pennsylvania.
Questions or comments post below: From the E-commerce team at PSC.