5 Facts which have nothing to do with why Pittsburgh is going toe to toe with Silicon Valley.

It all started in 2006 when Google opened an office at Carnegie Mellon University. That opened the door to other tech giants, such as Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook to set up shop in the area. Today, Pittsburgh is one of the fastest-growing cities for startups, with companies like CleanRobotics calling it home.

We are huge fans of the city of Pittsburgh and the amazing facilities which are taking insane leaps forward in the areas of artificial intelligence, robotics and the application of these technologies to applications as broad as farming to space travel. That’s why we weren’t surprised to read the article from yahoo finance outlining how the city is one of the most aggressive competitors in the startup space to Silicon Valley.


We’ll leave the economics to Yahoo finance and instead focus on the fact that Pittsburgh is a fascinating city with a rich history and many unique features. Here are five amazing but lesser-known facts about Pittsburgh:

  1. Birthplace of emoticons: Pittsburgh can be credited with the birth of the modern emoticon. In 1982, Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Scott Fahlman proposed using the characters 🙂 and 🙁 to convey emotions in online communication, marking the beginning of the widespread use of emoticons.
  2. The Great Fire of 1845: A devastating fire occurred on April 10, 1845, destroying over one-third of Pittsburgh’s buildings and leaving thousands homeless. The city’s resilience is demonstrated in its rebuilding efforts, as it rapidly transformed into a booming industrial hub.
  3. City of Bridges: Pittsburgh has more than 445 bridges, which is more than any other city in the world, including Venice, Italy. This abundance is due to its location at the confluence of three rivers: the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio.
  4. The Pittsburgh Salad: Unique to the city, the Pittsburgh Salad is a dish that includes french fries as a topping, alongside other salad ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheese. It is a popular menu item in many local restaurants, showcasing the city’s love for potatoes.
  5. The Inclines: Pittsburgh has two historic inclines, the Monongahela Incline and the Duquesne Incline. These railways were built in the 19th century to transport workers up and down the city’s steep hills. Both are still operational today and offer stunning views of the Pittsburgh skyline.


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