Boston Firsts: 40 Feats of Innovation and Invention that Happened First in Boston and Helped Make America Great

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Beacon Press, 2006 - History - 262 pages
2 Reviews
Boston Firsts! is about everything (well, almost!) that happened first in Boston and changed life elsewhere: from the first lighthouse and public library to the first madam and ready-made suit. Boston-based journalist and essayist Lynda Morgenroth has written forty original essays on the city’s long history of innovation, from the colonial era to the recent past. These lively takes on Boston’s innovative history range from the first use of ether in publicly performed painless surgery to the first school desegregation court case to the one—and only—automatic bargain basement.

Consider this: Ice cut from Boston ponds and shipped to hot climates became a worldwide industry. A controversial kidney transplant between twin brothers marked the start of organ transplantation. Attempts to breed a belligerent fighting dog created the sweet-natured Boston terrier, the first dog breed developed in the U.S. The glorious Massachusetts 54th Regiment, led by a Boston Brahmin, was the first black army regiment in U.S history. First newspaper, novel, subway, telephone, gay marriage— the beat goes on.

Ranging from advances in science and engineering—like the smallpox inoculation and the Boston Harbor cleanup—to innovations in culture and society— Fannie Farmer’s cookbook, the YMCA, and Boston cream pie—the collection investigates, celebrates, and integrates America’s workshop of ideas.

Lynda Morgenroth, author of the urban field guide Boston Neighborhoods: A Food Lover’s Walking, Eating, and Shopping Guide to Ethnic Enclaves in and around Boston and longtime Boston Globe contributor, lives “slightly northeast” of Boston.

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Review: Boston Firsts: 40 Feats of Innovation and Invention that Happened First in Boston and Helped Make America Great

User Review  - Karen Tompert - Goodreads

A whole lot of "who knew?" moments in reading this. Why, as all right thinking people know, Boston is the best(even if I don't want to drive there) ;) Read full review

Review: Boston Firsts: 40 Feats of Innovation and Invention that Happened First in Boston and Helped Make America Great

User Review  - Amanda - Goodreads

I'm just starting training to become a volunteer docent for walking tours of Boston. This is one of the many volumes of recommended reading. Update: As this wasn't one of the "strongly reccommended" titles on my list, I've since returned it to the library. Read full review

About the author (2006)

Lynda Morgenroth, author of the urban field guideBoston Neighborhoods: A Food Lover's Walking, Eating, and Shopping Guide to Ethnic Enclaves in and around Bostonand longtimeBoston Globecontributor, lives "slightly northeast" of Boston.

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