Worcester, Massachusetts firsts
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- The Declaration of Independence was first publicly read in Massachusetts by Isaiah Thomas in Worcester in July 1776.
- The monkey wrench was invented by Loring Coes of the Coes Knife Company in 1840.
- In 1847, the first commercial valentine was mass-produced in Worcester by Esther Howland.
- Worcester blacksmith Albert Tolman is said to have invented the rickshaw in 1848 for a missionary traveling to South America (There are, however, numerous other theories about the origin of the rickshaw.)
- The first national convention of women advocating women's suffrage was held in Worcester on October 23 and 24, 1850.
- Worcester resident Joshua C. Stoddard invented the steam calliope in 1855.
- Candy Cummings is reputed to have thrown the first ever curveball pitch in Worcester in 1867 while playing for the Brooklyn Stars. It was a strike.
- Lee Richmond of the Worcesters pitched the first perfect game in major league baseball history on June 12, 1880.
- Candlepin bowling was first developed in Worcester in 1880.
- The founding meeting of the American Psychology Association was held at Clark University in 1892.
- Worcester resident Henry Perky became the first to mass-produce shredded wheat in 1895.
- Between September 6–10, 1909, Sigmund Freud delivered his only American lectures at Clark University ("Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis" later published as "On Psychoanalysis"). Carl Jung joined him, and William James attended.
- Albert A. Michelson, chairman of Clark University's Physics Department, was named America's first Nobel Prize winner in 1902 for his experiments relating to his calculation of the speed of light.
- Dr. Robert H. Goddard of Worcester Polytechnic Institute's class of 1908 and later Clark University patented the first liquid fuel rocket in 1914.
- The combined oral contraceptive pill was developed by the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in the Worcester suburb of Shrewsbury.
- Charles Olson, a poet and Worcester native, coined the term "postmodern" in his 1958 essay "The Present is Prologue".
- Harvey Ball designed the world famous Smiley face in 1963.
- Charles Hill Morgan patented a direct-action hydraulic elevator and installed the first one.
- The David Clark Company designed and built a pressure suit for Felix Baumgartner's world-record skydive attempt in 2010.