It Happened in Cleveland

1837 – Oberlin College, near Cleveland, was the first college in the U.S. to grant degrees to women and the first college to adopt a policy against discrimination in admitting students because of race, color or creed. Source Also in 1837, the first chapter of the American-Anti-Slavery Society was established in Cleveland. The society had little impact and quickly disappeared. The abolitionist movement among the students and professors of Oberlin College had far greater impact and the college became the center for abolitionism and other reform movements in the Western Reserve. Source Oberlin became a main ‘station’ on the Underground Railroad.

1845 - John Patterson Green, known as the "Father of Labor Day", was born April 2, 1845 of free parents in Newberne, North Carolina. After his father died, Green's mother moved her family to Cleveland. He attended Central High School and became a lawyer in 1870. He began to practice law in South Carolina but moved back to Cleveland in 1872. He was elected Justice of the Peace in 1873 and became the first African-American elected to public office in Cleveland. Green was elected to the State House of Representative in 1890 and introduced House Bill 500, that established Labor Day as a state holiday. In 1894, Congress passed a bill making Labor Day a national holiday. Source

1853 - First U.S. newspaper for African-Americans (The Aliened American) by William Howard Day.

1863 - Free home delivery of mail and first mailman’s uniform - Joseph Briggs. Source

1868 - First "blow" of Bessemer Steel made at the Cleveland Rolling Mills on 6 September. Source

1874 - The Women's Christian Temperance Union is formed in Cleveland and spreads nationwide.

1876 - Charles F. Brush patented the open coil-type dynamo, a forerunner of the modern generator. He developed an arc light, which utilized the electricity produced by the dynamo, in 1878. In 1879 he demonstrated the arc light in a ceremony on Cleveland's Public Square. Soon these lights spread across America and into Europe, replacing the gas lights which had become standard street illumination in most large cities. By 1889, the Brush Electric Company was purchased by the Thompson-Houston Electric Company. In 1891, this company merged with the Edison General Electric Company to form what is today known as General Electric. Source

1880 - Standardized formula paints first made by the Sherwin-Williams Co. Source

1884 - The world's first electric streetcar was operated in Cleveland, an invention of Charles Brush. Source

1887-88 – Charles Brush (1849-1929) built what is today believed to be the first automatically operating wind turbine for electricity generation. It was a giant - the world's largest - with a rotor diameter of 17 m (50 ft.) and 144 rotor blades. The turbine ran for 20 years and charged the batteries in the cellar of his mansion. Despite the size of the turbine, the generator was only a 12 kW model. Source

1890 - The Arcade was one of the first indoor shopping centers in the country. It features a glass skylight ceiling, at the time of its installation, an engineering marvel. It still stands and has been recently renovated by Hyatt Hotels which now uses the arcade as their lobby. Source

1891 - America's first gasoline-powered automobile was built by John W. Lambert of OhioCity (later Cleveland). Source

1891 - LifeSavers candy is created by Clarence Crane, father of Hart Crane. When Crane first marketed "Crane’s Peppermint Life Savers," life preservers were just beginning to be used on ships-the round kind with a hole in the center for tossing to a passenger fallen overboard. But that is not the whole story. Crane had been basically a chocolate maker. Chocolates were hard to sell in summer, however, and so he decided to try to make a mint that would boost his summertime sales. At that time most of the mints available came from Europe and they were square in shape. Crane was buying bottles of flavoring in a drug store one day when he noticed the druggist using a pill-making machine. It was operated by hand and made round, flat pills. Crane had his idea. The pill making machines worked fine for his mints, and he was even able to add the life preserver touch by punching a tiny hole in the middle. Later Crane was to sell his rights to his new candy for under three thousand dollars. He may have regretted that decision, for "Life Savers" earned the new manufacturer many millions of dollars

1892 - Padded bicycle seat invented by Clevelander Arthur Lovett Garford.

1896 - First X-Ray photograph in the U.S. by Dudley Wick (his hand.) Source

1896- Whole-body scanner and x-ray machine by Dayton C. Miller (Case School of Applied Science.)

1898 - American-made standard gasoline automobile sale in the U.S. - Alexander Winton Source

1899 - Modern golf ball with rubber core - Coburn Haskell, Joseph Mitchell, Bertram Work

1900 - First Automobile Club formed, eventually becomes AAA Source

1900- Alexander Winton is the first American manufacturer to use the steering wheel as standard equipment (1900) rather than a tiller; to introduce the multiple-disc clutch; to make an 8-cyl. motor (1903); and to make available a self-starter as an option (using compressed air, in 1908.)

1902 - Cleveland is the automobile capital of the world with 22 auto factories making more vehicles than any other city in US.

1903 – Harry Gammeter, Cleveland, patented the multigraph duplicating machine, called the ditto machine. It was the reproduction method of choice before photocopying. On a sales trip to Cleveland he observed a stenographer endlessly copying circular letters and wondered if was possible devise a machine that would print a complete line or page of type with a single stroke. In 1900, he built a crude model of such a machine, demonstrating its feasibiliy to Clevelander Henry C. Osborn of the Osborn-Morgan Co. consulting engineers. Osborn designed, produced, and financed a duplicating machine based on the rotary drum principle which was patented 10 March 1903. Source

1904 - Greater Cleveland developed the first comprehensive modern building code.

1905 - The first successful blood transfusion was performed by Dr. George Crile, internationally known surgeon-scientist of Cleveland. Dr. Crile also founded the world renown Cleveland Clinic. Source

1910 - Automobile shock absorbers developed by C. H. Foster Source

1911 - First planned industrial research park (General Electric's NELAPARK). It was conceived in 1910 by Franklin Terry and Burton Tremaine, officers of the Natl. Electric Lamp Co., which soon became the lamp division of GENERAL ELECTRIC CO.. NELA is an acronym for National Electric Lamp Association. The 92 acre site was selected in 1910, a small plateau 234' above Lake Erie, with some dense woods and a picturesque ravine. The building program began in 1911 and was entrusted to one architect in order to achieve a consistent scheme. The architects for all the buildings begun before 1921 were Wallis & Goodwillie of New York. Frank E. Wallis, a student of English and Colonial architecture, did further studies of Georgian architecture in the south of England in preparation for the planning. The buildings were erected by the AUSTIN CO., whose work at Nela Park led directly to the standardization of construction methods in industrial building. The complex was very advanced in its handling of mechanical systems, with underground tunnels for all utilities. In 1975, Nela Park was listed as an Historic Place in the US Department of the Interior’s National Register. With 1,200 employees in 1995, the complex served as world headquarters of GE Lighting, one of the corporation's 12 divisions. One of the best-known and most popular aspects of Nela Park has been its annual electrically illuminated Christmas display. Source

1912 - Established to encourage new ideas and a free exchange of thought, The City Club is the oldest continuous free speech forum in the country, renowned for its tradition of debate and discussion continues to this day.

1912 – Walter C. Baker coupled a gasoline engine and an electric motor in an automobile, creating the world’s first hybrid vehicle. The ingenious principle was discarded as cumbersome. We have recently returned to the idea as the newest and latest technology in fuel efficiency.

1913 - First all American-made diesel engine, Winton Gas Engine and Manufacturing Company.

1913 – Experiments by Dr. Lenhart and Dr. Marine prove that dietary iodine is an essential mineral for thyroid health.

1913 – E. F. Hauserman Company begins manufacturing modular, moveable interior steel partitions for office and factory ‘flex-spaces’.

1913 – Cleveland is chosen as the headquarters for the Federal Reserve Bank’s Fourth District.

1913 - The Federation for Charity & Philanthropy launched the first sustained campaign in the U.S. designed to raise funds for a large number of separate homes, clinics, and family services, regardless of Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish sponsorship. The campaign was so successful--it increased the number of contributors to these institutions from a few hundred to over 6,000--that it became the model for the Red Cross and Victory Chest drives carried out across the nation to meet the needs created by World War I. Cleveland's Community Chest (which evolved into the UNITED WAY SERVICES), also the first in the U.S., continued to run unified fundraising campaigns after the war. Within the new philanthropic system, the Fed. for Charity & Philanthropy continued to evaluate individual institutions, study the city's needs, and distribute the funds raised by the Community Chest. In studying the city's needs, it was quickly joined by the Cleveland Foundation. Organized by Frederick Goff, president of the Cleveland Trust Co. (now part of Society Bank), the Cleveland Foundation was the nation's first community foundation. Between 1914-24, it made remarkably effective use of the survey idea originated in charity organization societies in England and New York and applied with great fanfare in the Pittsburgh Survey of 1909. The Cleveland Foundation hired prominent experts to evaluate Cleveland's provisions for welfare, education, criminal justice, and recreation. The resulting studies attracted widespread attention, and Cleveland's community foundation, like its Community Chest, was copied in many other large cities. Source

1914 - First Electric traffic signal in US - Euclid Ave. & East 105th [see Garrett Morgan, below] Source

1914 – Federal census figures indicate that 30 cents of every dollar spent on automotive parts comes back to Cleveland firms.

1915 - Dr. Henry J. Gerstenberger developed simulated milk formula for infants at CWRU.

1915 - Submachine gun Source

1915 - Karamu House, meaning “place of joyful gathering” in Swahili, the nation’s first multi-cultural performing arts center. Karamu has served as a multicultural arts center and settlement house for the people of Cleveland since 1915. While Langston Hughes is probably the most famous alumnus of the Karamu Performing Arts Theatre, many well-known artists worked there, including Ruby Dee, Robert Guillaume and Ron O’Neal. Source

1916 - Using the gas mask he invented, Garrett A. Morgan, Cleveland’s premier inventor, rescues workers trapped by an explosion in salt mines below Lake Erie. Source

After settling in Cleveland, Ohio in 1895, Garrett Morgan became an important inventor, businessman, and leader in the Cleveland African-American community. When Morgan first moved to Cleveland he found work as a sewing-machine adjuster. By 1907 he went into business for himself and established a company to sell and repair sewing machines. Morgan continued in a variety of businesses including a tailor shop, manufacturing of hair-care products, and development of the National Safety Device Company. Morgan was also an inventor who designed several successful devices such as the round belt fastener, a friction drive clutch, the traffic light and a safety "breathing device". The "breathing device" was a safety helmet designed to protect the wearer from inhaling smoke and ammonia. Morgan was able to demonstrate its life-saving use during the Cleveland Waterworks explosion on July 25, 1916 when he wore his device into the gas-filled tunnel beneath Lake Erie to rescue several workers. Source

1917 - During World War I, George W. Crile organizes a group of physicians, surgeons, nurses, and enlisted men to serve in France. The Crile Medical Evac Unit is the first group of US troops to land in war-torn Europe. After WW II broke out, on Christmas Eve 1941, the U.S. surgeon general invited the unit to be first again. Source

1918 – Lt. David S. Ingalls (1899-1985) is recognized by the US Navy as the #1 flying ace of WWI. The grandnephew of President Taft, Ingalls was the only ace of the United States Navy during World War I. Before enlisting in 1917, he was a pre-med student at Yale where he was an active member of the school's flying club. Attached to British squadrons throughout the war, he flew the D.H.4 and Sopwith Camel in combat scoring six victories. Source After the war, he received a degree in the law from Harvard in 1923 and was elected to the Ohio legislature in 1926. A strong advocate for the fully deployable carrier task force, Ingalls served with the United States Navy throughout World War II, retiring with the rank of Rear Admiral. He later became vice-president of Pan American airlines, was the president and publisher of the Cincinnati Times-Star and vice-chairman of the Taft Broadcasting Company. In 1958, he returned to the practice of law.

1920 - First World Series unassisted triple play, Cleveland Indians. Source

1920 – Federal Census shows that Cleveland is fifth largest city in US, by population.

1921 - Automatic windshield wiper - Fred & William H. Folberth Source

1923 - Garrett Morgan patents a traffic light that utilized a third light, a yellow caution signal, to regulate traffic. Source

1924 – With the advent of radio, a new clear-channel station is begun in Cleveland. WTAM features a young band on its evening broadcast – Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians.

1927 - First municipal airport (Cleveland Hopkins International) and air traffic control tower Source

1927-29 - Development of Shaker Square, among the first planned suburban shopping centers in the nation, certainly the first served by light rail. The octagonal plan of the square suggested 18th-century European royal squares as a design source, and central pavilions flanked by lower wings can be seen in each quadrant. The style and detail, however, are American Colonial to conform with the domestic vision and style of the planned suburb of Shaker Hts. In 1976 Shaker Square, the oldest shopping district in Ohio and the second oldest in the nation, was listed in the Natl. Register of Historic Places. Source

1928 - Frosted light bulbs developed at NELA Park by Marvin Pipkin Source

1929 - Airplane automatic pilot - (tested) Source

1929 - National Air Races first held in Cleveland. Source

1931 – Toni Morrison is born in nearby Lorain, Ohio. She was the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature (1993) for her book, Beloved. She also won many writing awards including the Pulitzer Prize. Source

1935 - Dr. Claude S. Beck pioneered surgical treatments of coronary heart disease at CWRU University Hospital.

1940 – Cleveland opens the first Health Museum in U.S. Source

1947 - First successful defibrillation of a human heart by Dr. Claude S. Beck and colleagues at University Hospitals. Source

1950 - Cleveland City Council passes a Fair Employment Practices law, the first such city law in the United States. Source

1951- Rock and Roll Music (public recognition and coinage of the term by Cleveland DJ Alan Freed) Source

1952 - The Moondog Coronation Ball, the first “Rock ‘n Roll” concert. With an estimated 20,000 individuals trying to crowd into an arena that held slightly more than half that - and worries that a riot might break out as people tried to crowd in - the fire authorities shut down the concert after the first song

1952 - First successful siamese twin separation Source

1952 - Dr. Claude S. Beck developed Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) at CWRU. Source

1954 - Cleveland native Dorothy Dandridge is the first African American actress nominated for an Academy Award in the lead actress category for her work in “Carmen Jones”.

1952 - First successful siamese twin separation Source

1957 - First commercial long-distance coal pipeline was placed in operation (its construction had been completed on 12 Sep 1956). More than one million tons of coal per year could be moved from the mine in Ohio to the power station 108 miles away. It extended from the Georgetown Preparation Plant of the Hanna Coal Company (near Cadiz, Ohio), to a Cleveland Illuminating Company power station (in Eastlake, Ohio). The pipeline, 10-3/4 inches in diameter, was designed to move an equal mixture of coal and water at the rate of 150 tons of coal per hour. Source

1967 - Carl B. Stokes is elected mayor [1967-1971] of Cleveland, the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city. Source

1967 - First successful coronary artery bypass operation performed at the Cleveland Clinic by Dr. Rene Favaloro. Source

1968 - First Rapid transit rail service from airport to downtown Source

1970 - The first NFL "Monday Night Football" game was played at Cleveland Municipal Stadium with the Cleveland Browns defeating the New York Jets, 31-20 Source

1972 - Jane Picker and Lizabeth Moody, professors at the CLEVELAND-MARSHALL LAW SCHOOL, created the WOMEN'S LAW FUND, INC., the first law firm in the nation to specialize in sex-discrimination cases. Source

1972 - Cleveland native Vincent Marotta invented the Mr. Coffee coffee maker. Source

1994 - The first city to be awarded five All-American City Awards (1949, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1994) Source

1997 - Professor Huntington F. Willard [CWRU] created the first artificial human chromosomes, opening the door to more detailed study of human genetics and potentially offering a new approach to gene therapy.

2002 - Cleveland native Halle Berry (born August 15, 1968) wins an Oscar/Academy Award-- first ever black woman for her performance in “Monster’s Ball”. Source She also appeared in “Jungle Fever,” “Bullworth” and “Die Another Day”. She won a Golden Globe, Emmy, SAG and NAACP Image Award for “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge”. [see 1954 above]

2002 – Playhouse Square Center, downtown Cleveland’s revitalized theater district, is the largest performing arts center in the United States outside of New York City. Its five historic 1920s theaters--- the Palace, Ohio, State, Hanna and Allen--- have been completely renovated and returned to their original, majestic splendor.

2004 - International Children's Games are hosted by Cleveland, the first time the games have been held in the U.S.

What are some of the unique contributions of Cleveland medicine? What, if any, major medical discoveries have been made? Medical "firsts" include Noah Worcester's first American treatise on dermatology, A Synopsis of the Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the More Common and Important Diseases of the Skin (Philadelphia, 1845); Abraham Metz's first textbook on ophthalmology, The Anatomy and Histology of the Human Eye (Philadelphia, 1869); and Samuel W. Kelley's first book on pediatric surgery, The Surgical Diseases of Children: A Modern Treatise on Pediatric Surgery (New York, 1909). On 8 Feb. 1896, 3 months to the day after Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen in Germany announced the discovery of x-rays, DAYTON C. MILLER, a professor at Cleveland's Case School of Applied Science, made the first x-rays in the U.S. He lectured 2 months later to the CLEVELAND MEDICAL SOCIETY. There were outstanding teachers, such as William Thomas Corlett, appointed in 1901 as one of the few American physicians to test the new syphilis remedy, Salvarsan, at Lakeside Hospital, CARL J. WIGGERS† (called the father of hemodynamics in the U.S.), the first editor of Circulation Research, and TORALD H. SOLLMANN, who in 1901 published the leading American textbook on pharmacology, which has gone through at least 8 editions. Endemic goiter has disappeared because of the research between 1915-20 of DAVID MARINE and CARL H. LENHART that showed that it was caused by iodine deficiency in the diet.

Since 1940 Cleveland's major medical contributions have been in cardiovascular diseases and their treatment: the studies of angina pectoris carried out by Harold Feil and Mortimer Siegel at MT. SINAI MEDICAL CENTER and their pioneering work in electrocardiography; the experiments of HARRY GOLDBLATT in hypertension; and the development of open-heart surgery by CLAUDE S. BECK (who also gave the first course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, later called CPR, 1950), and Jay Ankeney at Univ. Hospitals. In 1956 St. Vincent Charity Hospital opened the world's first intensive-care unit devoted exclusively to heart surgery. Willem Kolff developed kidney dialysis techniques at the Cleveland Clinic, where he also started to develop the artificial heart, aided by research engineers at the NASA LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER. Cleveland Clinic became a "revascularization center" for coronary artery disease by means of bypass surgery, based on a technique developed by Ten Nobel laureates have been affiliated with the CWRU medical school, including Frederick C. Robbins, honored for his work with the polio virus. Other Cleveland contributions to medicine included pioneering work in gerontology, the activities of the CLEVELAND MEDICAL LIBRARY ASSN. (est. 1894), and the first and longest-running medical feature on a television news show, Dr. Theodore Castele's segment of "Live on 5" (WEWS (Channel 5)), which began in 1975. In 1990 national attention focused on Univ. Hospitals researchers, headed by Dr. Roland W. Moskowitz, who traced osteoarthritis to a specific genetic defect; in 1993 Dr. Eric Topol concluded a 2-year study, the largest of its type, on the effects of the drug t-PA on heart attack patients. One can characterize medicine in Cleveland as equal and in many cases superior to that of other urban centers. In the 20th century, it has been especially distinguished by extensive institutional cooperation and outstanding private and community support.