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slides: Did You Know? Central MA Did It First!

Friday, March 14, 2014

 

Central Massachusetts has had a long history of innovation dating back to the Industrial Revolution. During that time, Central MA has led the way in many instances, including being the first launch site of a liquid-fueled rocket and the location where the first baseball catchers mask was used. For more Central MA firsts, check out the slideshow below.

 

Related Slideshow: Did You Know? Central MA Did It First!

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Farmers Almanac

The first Farmers Almanac was published in West Boylston.

Under the guiding hand of its first editor, Robert B. Thomas, a school teacher in West Boylston, the premiere issue of The Old Farmer's Almanac was first published in 1792 when George Washington was in office. The Farmer’s Almanac became an immediate success. By the second year, circulation had tripled from 3,000 to a whopping 9,000. Back then, the Almanac cost nine cents. Since 1792, the Old Farmer's Almanac has been issuing long-range seasonal weather forecasts, tide tables, planting charts, astronomical data, recipes, and articles on a number of other issues indispensable to the farming community as well as a huge following garnered through the years.

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Birth Control Pill

The first Birth Control Pill was developed by the Worcester Foundation For Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury.

The Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology developed the first oral contraceptive, approved by the FDA in June, 1960, as Enovid-10.  Developed by Drs. Gregory Pincus and Min-Chueh Chang. the effects of the Pill changed the social, political, and bio-technical landscapes for all generations to come.

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Liquid-Fueled Rocket

The first Rocket propelled by liquid fuel was launched in Auburn.

Robert Goddard, inventor of the first liquid fueled rocket, was born and lived much of his life in Worcester. A graduate of  Worcester Polytechnic Institute's class of 1908, Robert Goddard is widely known as “the father of the space age.”  He was one of the first scientists to explore the potential of rocket power. On March 16, 1926, in Auburn, Massachusetts, he launched the first rocket propelled by liquid fuel in the world.

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Ether as an Anesthetic

Ether was first used as an anesthetic in Charlton.

The history of anesthetics is long. The Incas chewed coca leaves and other soporifics and narcotics were used through the years. By the mid-1840’s opium and alcohol were regularly used with negative side affects such as addiction and overdose. Dr Thomas Morton, a Charlton dentist changed the face of anesthesia when he used ether at Mass General Hospital in Boston, in an amphitheater known today as the “Ether Dome”, to sedate a patient while he removed a tumor from his jaw.

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Play Ball

The first baseball catchers mask was used in Southborough.

In 1875, the St. Mark’s School catcher adapted a fencing mask by cutting eyeholes in it to protect his broken nose. Later the official catchers mask was invented by Harvard baseball team manager, Fred Thayer. He remembered the mask worn by the St. Mark’s player and had a version made for star player, James Tyng. It was officially used in the 1877 season.

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Pink Flamingos

The first pink flamingo lawn ornaments were created in Leominster.

Manufactured in 1957 by Union Products in Leominster, the pink flamingo went on to lend an ornamental touch to lawns all across the USA. The pink flamingo was designed by Don Featherstone who was an artist at Union Products. He still lives in Fitchburg and has 57 pink flamingos on his front lawn.

 
 

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