November 2 is National Ohio Day, marking the date in 1803 when President Thomas Jefferson signed a decree approving the boundaries and constitution of Ohio. Here are five fun Ohio firsts, all with ties to Dayton, to celebrate our favorite state!
1. First in Flight
How could we put together a list like this and not have Dayton's Wright Brothers at the top of it? Ok, yes, they went to North Carolina for the first flight - but only for the wind, soft sandy beach landings and the seclusion! Orville and Wilbur made Ohio the Birthplace of Aviation (and so much more) when they taught the world to fly from their workshop in Dayton. They invented and built the airplane in Dayton, and the first airplane flight school and factory were located in ... you guessed it, Dayton!
2. First Pop Top Beverage Can
Ermal "Ernie" Fraze invented the pop top/pull tab beverage can in Dayton. He took up the can problem in 1959 when, while picnicking with family and friends, he realized he had no opener for his can of beer! Have a drink on Dayton!
3. First Automotive Self Starter
In his lifetime, Charles Kettering was awarded at least 140 patents, but perhaps the most important of those was the electric self starter, which Kettering developed in Dayton. The 1912 Cadillac became the first car to replace the hand crank with the electric starter. Go Dayton!
4. First Supermarket Price Scanner
Dayton's NCR played a role in developing the supermarket price scanner, the Spectra Physics model "A" price scanner, created jointly with Spectra Physics. It was first used just up the road from Dayton in 1974, at a Marsh grocery store in Troy, Ohio. Price check? Get it in Dayton!
5. World's First Speeding Ticket
Yes, this is a bit of a dubious first, but in 1904, the Dayton Police Department wrote the very first speeding ticket. It was given to Harry Myers for going an alarming 12 miles per hour on West Third Street! Go, speed racer, go!