Inventions and Discoveries Made in Pennsylvania

Data Explanation

The symbols on this map show the locations where 50 different discoveries and inventions were made in Pennsylvania. Anything that was created in Pennsylvania that took some amount of scientific work or other form of experimentation in order to bring it about was considered a discovery or invention. If patent records had been investigated instead of the sources identified in the Credits below, there would likely be hundreds if not thousands of potential innovations.

Pennsylvania was critical to the "industrial revolution" in the US. Not only does the state's geology and vegetation provide a wide range of valuable resources, but the state's (and colony's) population of immigrants--especially then--from all over Europe, which was already industrializing, knew what to do with those resources.

Though the map includes discoveries from all over the state, the majority of them are located in or around major cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown-Bethlehem. The dates range from as early as 1741 to as recently as 1961.

Category How Many Earliest Most Recent
Domestic 10 Franklin Stove: 1741 Electric Watch: 1957
Natural Science/Medical 6 Lightning Rod: 1749 Polio Vaccination: 1955
Mechanical/Transportation 15 Early Steamboat Technology: 1765 Retractable Dome Roof: 1961
Electrical/Electronic 10 Commercial Telegraph: 1845 Weather Satellite: 1960
Industrial 9 Steel Wire Cable: 1832 Electrolytic Mfg. of Aluminum: 1888