Rochester Trivia

Did you kow...

  • ESLO, the Empire State/Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Derby is the largest fishing derby in the nation.
  • Seth Green, the "father of fishes," was born in Rochester in 1817. He invented the fishing reel.
  • The Memorial Art Gallery offers 9,500 artworks from medieval to modern times, the largest general collection in New York State outside of New York City.
  • There are over 450 animals at the Seneca Park Zoo.
  • The first municipally owned baseball team in the country was the Rochester Red Wings.
  • Rochester's total exports account for over 40% of New York State's total.
  • The postal mail chute was designed by J.G. Cutler of Rochester on September 11, 1883.
  • In 1927, General Railway Signal introduced the first CTC centralized traffic control system.
  • The Strasenburgh Planetarium has the world's first computerized planetarium mechanism.
  • Oak Hill Country Club has been host to the U.S. Open three times. It also was host to the 1995 Ryder Cup.
  • The International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House contains one of the world's premier collections of photographs, films, rare books and imaging-related works.
  • Garth Fagan Dance began in Rochester and performs around the world.
  • The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is the only major orchestra in the U.S. supported by a mid-sized city.
  • Bausch & Lomb is a world leader in the distribution of products for the care, correction, and enhancement of vision.
  • John Jacob Bausch and Capt. Henry Lomb opened an optical shop in Rochester in 1852.
  • The Genesee Brewing Company was established in 1878.
  • The first automatically operated vending machine was produced in Rochester in 1897.
  • The world's largest display of lilacs is in Highland Park.
  • The first Newspaper Association Convention was held in Rochester on February 16, 1887.
  • Buffalo Bill's children are buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery.
  • The first photographic copying machine was commercially manufactured in Rochester in 1910.
  • The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in optics.
  • The Landmark Society of Western New York is one of the oldest and largest preservation groups in the U.S.
  • The Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester conducts research on the energy related issues of lasers.
  • The first photograph taken from an aircraft at night was over Rochester on November 20, 1925.
  • The electrobasograph was invented by Russell R. Schwartz of the University of Rochester Medical School in 1933.
  • Genesee is a Seneca word meaning "pleasant banks."
  • Rochester is commonly referred to as the "Flower City."
  • The Jones Farm, the birthplace of George Eastman, is in the village at the Genesee Country Museum.
  • The Erie Canal made Rochester America's first boom town.
  • Austin Steward (1793-1869) was an early Rochester pioneer.
  • The last canal boat crossed the Genesee Aqueduct in 1919.
  • Rochester grew into one of the great American cities of the 19th century because of two waterways--the Genesee River and the Erie Canal.
  • "Jives" Cab Calloway is from Rochester.
  • Margaret Woodbury Strong was a collector of 19th and 20th century culture. Her collection is housed at the Strong Museum.
  • Each May at Highland Park, 1,200 lilac bushes display a floral rainbow of more than 500 varieties.
  • George Eastman (1854-1932) was the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company.
  • Jonathan Child became Rochester's first mayor in 1834.
  • Susan B. Anthony, women's rights advocate, was arrested for voting in 1872.
  • Frederick Douglass, antislavery spokesman, became the first presidential candidate of negro blood nominated in 1847.
  • Col. Nathaniel Rochester was the city founder.
  • Ebenezer "Indian" Allen was Rochester's first miller.
  • "Mercury" has been a symbol of Rochester since 1881.
  • The Posts were early advocates of abolition. The Post House was an important underground railroad stop.
  • Lt. David Hochstein, a gifted violinist, was killed in World War I. In 1920, the David Hochstein Memorial Music School was established in his honor.
  • Hiram Sibley was the founder of Western Union.
  • Rochester was known as the "Flour City."
  • Sam Patch, the first Niagara daredevil, met his doom at the Main Falls on Friday the 13th, November 1829. His pet bear wisely declined to accompany him. He often said, "some things can be done as well as others."
  • Although denied funds by Thomas Jefferson, New York State Governor DeWitt Clinton built the Erie Canal. It opened in 1825.
  • The Erie Canal, nicknamed "Clinton's Ditch," was the engineering marvel of its day.
  • The Town of Greece was established on March 22, 1822. It was named to honor the people of Greece, who had recently won freedom from Turkish rule.
  • Rochester's employment of scientists and engineers is twice that of New York State and the U.S.
  • Half of all persons employed nationally in the manufacturing of photographic equipment and supplies are in the Rochester area.
  • The inventor of the gasoline engine, George B. Selden of Rochester, filed a patent on May 8, 1879.
  • Abraham Lincoln addressed the citizens of Rochester on February 18th, 1861.
  • Imaging directly employs more than 100,000 Rochester area people.
  • Over 90 optics and imaging firms and imaging related divisions of large firms are located in the Rochester area.
  • The town of Brighton reported in 1938 that it had no cemeteries, no banks, no libraries, no theaters, and no post office. But it did have 85 lawyers.
  • By the 1890s, Rochester's National Casket Company made three-fourths of the caskets sold in America.
  • By World War I, Rochester's factories made half the world's buttons.
  • In the first half of the 19th century, Rochester's frontier vitality earned it the nickname "Young Lion of the West."
  • The last one-room schoolhouse in Monroe County--in the town of Hamlin--closed in 1956.
  • Of Rochester-area people age 24 or older, 80% are high school graduates, compared with 75% in the U.S.
  • Bank clerk George Eastman, a prudent young man, began his photographic plate company in 1881--but he didn't quit his day job for nearly two years.
  • SUNY at Brockport, established as Brockport Academy in 1848, is the oldest college in Monroe County.
  • The first edition of the Book of Mormon was printed in Palmyra, Wayne County, beginning in 1829.
  • Rochester's Fox sisters, who started a nationwide spiritualism craze in the 1840s, eventually admitted that they produced rapping noises during their seances by cracking the joints of their big toes.
  • The first black player in the NBA, Earl Lloyd of the Washington Capitols, made his debut in Rochester against the Royals, in October 1951.
  • Did you know that Charles G. Finney, a great Revivalist minister, traveled the western NY area. His most successful series of meetings were in Rochester, NY. Crime fell to nearly zero. Jails were almost unnecessary and police had nothing to do. Today in his memory a local high school is named for him.

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