Famous First Facts
Famous First Facts is a book listing "First Happenings, Discoveries and Inventions in the United States". The current version of the book — the sixth edition (ISBN 0-8242-1065-4), published in December 2006 — includes more than 7,500 entries on 1,300 pages, organized by five different indexes.
The book was originally published by H. W. Wilson Company in 1933, weighing in at 757 pages and selling for $3.50. The book was created by Joseph Nathan Kane, a freelance journalist who had assembled 3,000 "firsts" into a text that had been rejected by 11 other publishers before it was accepted by its current publisher. The book became a library reference standard.
The second edition of the book was published in 1950, the third in 1964, the fourth in 1981 and the fifth in 1997.
- Famous First Facts, 6th Edition, H. W. Wilson Company. Accessed June 26, 2008.
- "FAMOUS FIRST FACTS. A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries and Inventions in the United States. By Joseph Nathan Kane. Illustrated. 757 pp. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company. $3.50.", The New York Times, May 14, 1933. Accessed June 26, 2008.
- Severo, Richard. "Joseph Nathan Kane Dies; Master of Minutiae Was 103", The New York Times, September 27, 2002. Accessed June 26, 2008.
- Donald Altschiller, "In Praise of Reference-Book Authors." The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 12, 2012 
- Joseph Nathan Kane, Current Biography. Accessed June 26, 2008.
- Janet Podell and Steven Anzovin, Famous First Facts, H. W. Wilson Company, 2006. p. vii.