Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation
2nd & 3rd Floors
The History Center's newest long-term exhibition, Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation, celebrates our region's incredible impact on the world.
The two-story, 16,000 square-foot exhibit features more than 50 hands-on activities and audio-visual displays, to help tell Pittsburgh's definitive story.
Beginning 16,000 years ago at Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Avella, Pa., through George Washington's first experiences in the French & Indian War, and Lewis & Clark's groundbreaking expedition, Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation celebrates our historic accomplishments all the way through our 21st century role as a leader in medicine, higher education, and robotics.
Visitors will experience history like never before by:
- Coming face-to-face with influential figures of Pittsburgh's historic past, through life-like models of Queen Aliquippa, Andrew Carnegie, and Rosie the Riveter, among others.
- Talking with a "virtual" George Westinghouse and asking more than 200 questions about his many achievements, from the invention of the air brake and alternating current to his rivalry with Thomas Edison.
- Stepping inside Pittsburgh's premier jazz club, the Crawford Grill, and listening to music from some of history's most prominent jazz stars, such as George Benson, Billy Strayhorn, Stanley Turrentine, and Mary Lou Williams.
- Taking a ride on "America's First Superhighway," the Pennsylvania Turnpike, in an interactive area featuring an authentic 1940s Willys-Overland jeep.
- Experiencing a virtual "House of Today," which will provide a sneak peak into future Pittsburgh innovations that will improve our lives over the next 250 years.
- Learning about hundreds of Pittsburgh Innovators that have shaped the world from Jonas Salk's polio vaccine and George Ferris' gigantic revolving wheel to Frank Conrad's first radio station.
Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation, helps bring to life a variety of historical models from Pittsburgh's 250-year history, including:
- A movable model of George Ferris' amazing revolving wheel, showcased as part of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in an effort to eclipse the Eiffel Tower
- A detailed, 1/8-scale model of John Roebling's Monongahela Bridge, the first bridge to successfully use wire cables for support
As a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, the History Center borrowed several items directly from the Smithsonian Institution that showcase the worldwide influence of local innovators, including:
- George Washington's "peace pipe," used in Western Pennsylvania during the outbreak of the French & Indian War
- A model of the Fort Pitt Foundry, the Strip District-based iron foundry that built the world's largest cannon
- Several items from the Westinghouse Company, including an original transmitter from KDKA Radio
Check out the History Center's YouTube sensation, "250 Years of Pittsburgh Innovation."
Courtesy: CBS Radio
“America’s shouted, “Yes we can!” Now, Pittsburgh’s saying, “Yes, we did!”” – Beaver County Times