The chicken wing is the first thing people think of when they think of Buffalo; however, the city has seen the innovation of much more than everyone's favorite treat! From the grain elevators Buffalonians recognize as a homage the city's roots to street lights that helped contribute to the nickname the City of Lights to dog licensing -- Buffalo has hosted many of the nation's firsts. 

  • Steam-powered grain elevators were invented in the 1840s along the Buffalo River.
  • In 1850, the first practical roll top desk is built, invented by Abner Cutler.
  • The first day care center in the U.S. in the 1880s.
  • In 1881, Buffalo became the first city to have street lights in the U.S., starting on Ganson Street.
  • The City of Buffalo enacted the first dog licensing law in the nation.
  • Willis Carrier, at the Buffalo Forge Co., invented the air conditioner.
  • In the 1940s, Bell Aircraft manufactured the first American jet plane in the world, the P-59, at a plant on Main Street.
  • In the 1950s, Wilson Greatbatch invented the internal pacemaker.
  • Teressa Bellissimo, at the Anchor Bar, created chicken wings. 
  • The country’s first-ever laboratory dedicated strictly to the research of cancer opened in Buffalo.