Boston Firsts

Boston Firsts

Boston has played an innovative and central role in American history for over 300 years. It has made significant advances in everything from science and engineering to culture and society. In Boston, it’s about changing the world!

  • 1621 – First Thanksgiving Feast
  • 1632 – First Windmill: Copp’s Hill
  • 1634 – First public park: Boston Common
  • 1635 – First public school: Boston Latin, still in operation
  • 1636 – First college: Harvard University
  • 1653 – First public library
  • 1704 – First newspaper: Boston News-Letter
  • 1714 – First American restaurant: Union Oyster House, still in operation
  • 1765 – First chocolate factory: Baker Chocolate Factory in Dorchester
  • 1780 – First State Constitution
  • 1784 – First pub: The Bell in Hand bar
  • 1797 – First commissioned Navy warship: The USS Constitution
  • 1837 – First city police department
  • 1837 – First Electric telegraph invented by Samuel Morse
  • 1837 – First city police department
  • 1846 – First sewing machine
  • 1876 – First telephone: Alexander Graham Bell
  • 1897 – First subway: Metro Boston Transportation Authority, the “T”, completed on schedule and on budget
  • 1897 – First U.S. Marathon: Boston Marathon
  • 1924 – First mutual fund
  • 1928 – First computer: MIT
  • 1947 – First microwave oven: Percy Spencer
  • 2004 – Largest social media network conceived: Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg
  • 2006 – First to offer free Wi-Fi at its convention centers: The BCEC and the Hynes
  • 2008 – First Mobile Dexterous Social Robot: Nexi, MIT
  • 2011 – First full face transplant in the U.S.
  • 2011 – First bionic lower leg system
  • 2011 – Largest convention center HD LED media tower

Visit the Advantage BOSTON website for a complete list of Boston Firsts >>