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20 Ways Worcester Changed America - UPDATED

Sunday, March 19, 2017

 

The city of Worcester has provided America with a number of new inventions and innovations, talented and intellectual people, and progressive and inspirational ideas. Today - Worcester is reinventing itself. Worcester has a legacy of transforming the Commonwealth, America, and the world.

The city could make a timeline right from the first start of the American revolution all the way past the millennium to see the impact Worcester has had on manufacturing, sciences, medicine, printing, education, government, sports, and arts. 

Did you know the first Bible and Dictionary printed in America were printed in Worcester? Check out these and 18 other ways that the Heart of the Commonwealth has changed America.

Here are the 20 Ways that Worcester Has Changed America:

 

Related Slideshow: 20 Ways Worcester Changed America

Sources: Worcester Historical Museum, Worcesterma.gov, Centralmass.org

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The American Revolution

Daniel Shays led farmers in the first organized protest of the Federal government, known as Shay's rebellion, and marched on the Worcester Courthouse to protest higher taxes.

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J.Geils Band

J.Geils, of the J.Geils Band grew up in Worcester and started his career playing in Worcester venues.

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First Bible Printed

Newspaper publisher Isaiah Thomas printed the first Bible in America in Worcester. Thomas published the largest newspaper at the time, Massachusetts Spy, in Worcester after he fled Boston three days before the Battle of Concord.

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First Dictionary Printed

Thomas also printed the first dictionary in America.

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Female in Presidential Cabinet

Frances Perkins, of Worcester, was U.S. Secretary of Labor throughout Franklin Roosevelt's entire presidency. She was the first woman appointed to a Presidential Cabinet in the United States.

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Bringing the Beatles to the U.S.

The first radio station to play the Beatles in America was Worcester's own WORC.

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Introduced the Supermarket

The first ever supermarket in the United States was on the corner of Madison Street and Main Street.

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Declaration of Independence

In 1776, Isaiah Thomas gave the first ever public reading of the Declaration of Independence on the steps of City Hall. Thomas was the publisher of Massachusetts Spy, which had recently moved headquarters from Boston to Worcester in order to keep away from the British.

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Glass and Steel Building Exterior

The first building in the United States made of exclusively glass and steel exterior was Higgins Armory in Worcester.

 

Photo Credit: "Higgins Armory Museum November 2013" by Terageorge - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

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AIDS Test

On December 13, 1988, Cambridge Biotech in Worcester received a federal license for its HIV 1 rapid diagnostic test.

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Marshall "Major" Taylor

Marshall "Major" Taylor was the first black cyclist to win an international competition.

He was the second black athlete to win a world championship in any sport, after boxer George Dixon won the world bantamweight title in 1891.

In 1899, Taylor won the 1 mile world track cycling championship. 

Today in Worcester, Major Taylor Boulevard runs through downtown.

"Taylor-Marshall 1900". Licensed under PD-US via Wikipedia 

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Casey at the Bat

"Casey at the Bat" was written by Worcester's own Ernest Thayer and published in 1888.

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The Three-Decker

As Worcester manufactoring expanded, so did the need for housing. Builders in the city innovated the Triple-Decker and built homes for workers near the factories.

Today, triple-deckers can be found across the country.

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Modern Gravestone Studies

Worcester's Harriette Merrifield Forbes' book Early New England Gravestones And the Men Who Made Them, 1653-1800, was published in 1927. Forbes' book was the first to treat early American gravemarkers as art and is the foundation for American gravestone study.

 

Photo Credit:"Chris" https://www.flickr.com/photos/cr01/6830919397/

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Barbed-Wire

In the 1800s, Washburn & Moen Manufactoring Company in Worcester was one of the largest manufactorers of barbed wire. Barbed wire from Washburn & Moen played a pivotal role holding the battle lines in World War I.

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First Envelope Folding Machine

In 1853, Worcester's Russell Hawes invented the first envelope folding machine in the country.

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Central MA in Little League World Series

In 2002, Jesse Burkett Little League All-Stars in Worcester became the first team in Central Massachusetts history to qualify for the Little League World Series.

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Discount Marketing

In the 1930's, Anthony "Spag" Borgatti opened Spag's. Borgatti is responsible for the invention of discount marketing. Spag's closed it's doors in 2004. 

 

Photo Credit: Jennifer Foppema Connelly - Pinterest

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First Public Park in the U.S.

Elm Park in Worcester was the first public park in the United States in 1854.

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Freud's Only Visit to the United States

Sigmund Freud's made his only visit to America in 1909 to give lectures at Clark University in Worcester on psychoanalysis. Clark gave him an honorary degree, the only institution to ever do so.

 
 

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