Springfield has long been known as the “City of Homes,” and for many of us in the Pioneer Valley and beyond, it’s either the city we live in or commute to for work.

But what many might not realize is just how many things were invented in western Massachusetts’ largest city.

In this web exclusive, Connecting Point’s Brian Sullivan takes us on a virtual tour of the community that also holds the title “The City of Firsts.”


Read the full transcript:

Zydalis Bauer, Connecting Point: Springfield has long been known as the City of Homes, and for many of us in the Pioneer Valley and beyond, it’s either the city we live in or commute to for work.

But, what many might not realize is just how many things were invented in western Massachusetts’ largest city. In this web exclusive Connecting Point’s Brian Sullivan takes us on a virtual tour of the community that also holds the title “The City of Firsts.”

Brian Sullivan, Connecting Point: Springfield, Massachusetts occupies several exits on Route 91 and the Mass Pike and is known as the City of Firsts.

America’s home to basketball saw the first gas-powered automobile manufactured here on Taylor Street in 1895. The first Indian motorcycle was built here in 1901. America’s first armory can also be found here.

It’s the birthplace of Dr. Seuss and home to the first resort casino in the Commonwealth. Springfield is also home to the first ever parking meter…not sure who thought that was a good idea.

Of course, parking meters do not apply to fire engines when they arrive on the scene. And as it turns out, Springfield can lay claim to having the first ever motorized fire wagon.

The city may have one of the nicest public libraries around, giving patrons access to read nearly anything they want. But in the 1600s, America’s first officially banned book, The New English Canaan, was banned here.

It’s home to the largest gun manufacturer in the United States. The Republican Party? They got their name here.

This is where the first commercial radio station hit the airwaves in 1921. Thirty-two years later, the first UHF television station started here. Good Years pliable rubber tires were founded here. As were postcards, envelopes, and friction matches.

That list actually keeps going, but the most important to me is that Springfield is home to the PBS television affiliate for all of western Massachusetts.