Pittsburgh ID8ers


Fred Rogers put on a cardigan and changed children’s television forever. Martha Graham wore a leotard to revolutionize modern dance. Neither is known to have ever donned a hardhat and Carhartts. Pittsburgh might always be linked to heavy industry, but this list of ID8ers proves that the Steel City’s innovation cuts across all fields.

Rachel Carson

Environmentalist whose 1962 book, “Silent Spring,” is credited with helping launch the modern environmental movement.

Frank Conrad

 The small station in his garage became KDKA, the first commercial radio station in the United States.

George Ferris

A bridge-builder from Pittsburgh who designed and built the Ferris Wheel unveiled at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.

Martha Graham

Choreographer who revolutionized modern dance.

Alan Perlis

Computer scientist known for pioneering work in programming languages and first recipient of the Turing Award.

Fred Rogers

American icon of children’s entertainment and education, creator of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

Jonas Salk

A University of Pittsburgh researcher who developed the polio vaccine in 1952.

Andy Warhol

“Pop” artist who has his own museum in Pittsburgh.



  1. The Big Mac – created by Jim Delligatti at his Uniontown McDonald’s in 1967.
  2. Emoticons – created by Carnegie Mellon computer scientist Scott Fahlman in 1982. :-)
  3. Pull-tabs on cans – invented by Alcoa and first used by Iron City Brewery in 1962.
  4. U.S. public television station – WQED went on the air in 1954.
  5. Movie theater – opened in 1905, the Nickelodeon on Smithfield Street was the first theater devoted exclusively to motion pictures.
  6. Retractable roofs – the Civic Arena, opened in 1961, had the first retractable roof.
  7. Sandwiches with fries and coleslaw on top – invented by Primanti Bros.
  8. Baseball parks – Forbes Field opened in 1909.
  9. Banana split – invented by a pharmacist in Latrobe in 1904
  10. World Series – in 1903 the Boston Pilgrims beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5 games to 3.
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