25 Little-Known Firsts About New Jersey

The first Miss America was chosen in Atlantic City in 1921.

New Jersey sometimes gets a bum rap, or does it? If you visit or live in New Jersey, you know there is a lot of history in the ‘Garden State.’ Check out these facts about one of the most talked about states in the U.S.

A Place in History

  • The first organized baseball game was played in Hoboken in 1846;
  • The first boardwalk in the world was built in 1870 at Atlantic City;
  • The first copper mine in America was opened by enterprising Dutch settlers in the Kittatinny Mountains, circa 1640;
  • The first drive-in movie theater was built on a 10-acre plot in Camden County in 1933;
  • The first ferry service in the U.S. operated between Hoboken and Manhattan in 1811;
  • The first seashore resorts opened in Cape May and Long Branch in the early 1800s;
  • The first Miss America was chosen in Atlantic City in 1921;
  • The first movie was developed by Thomas A. Edison in West Orange in 1889;
  • The first brewery in America opened in Hoboken in 1642;
  • The first phonograph was made by Thomas A. Edison in Menlo Park in 1877;
  • The first balloon flight in America was made by Jean-Pierre Blanchard. On January 9,1793, he landed a balloon at Deptford carrying a letter from George Washington;
  • The first professional basketball game was played in Trenton in 1896;
  • The first incandescent lamp (light bulb) was made by Thomas A. Edison in Menlo Park in 1879;
  • The first submarine was built in 1878 by John Holland of Passaic County. The submarine is now in a public museum in Paterson;
  • The first condensed soup in America was cooked and canned in Camden County in 1897;
  • The first robot to replace a human worker was used by General Motors in Ewing Township in 1961;
  • The first saltwater taffy was produced at the Jersey shore in the 1870s;
  • The first solid body electric guitar was invented by Les Paul of Mahwah in 1940;
  • The first national historic park in America was established in 1933 in Morristown;
  • The first cultivated blueberries were marketed by Elizabeth White of Whitesbog in 1916;
  • The first steam locomotive to actually pull a train on a track was built by John Stevens of Hoboken in 1824;
  • The first town to be lighted by electricity was Roselle in 1883;
  • The first radio broadcast of the World Series was transmitted live on radio station WIZ in Newark in 1921;
  • The first intercollegiate football game was played by Rutgers and Princeton in New Brunswick on November 6, 1869. Rutgers won 6 to 4;
  • The first airplane passenger flight flew from New York to Atlantic City on May 3, 1919.

Knowing the State

History buffs can now take even greater pride in their knowledge by learning this information. What other facts do you know about New Jersey?

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-Kimberly Williams

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