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Famous Firsts in New Jersey

  • The first organized baseball game was played in Hoboken in 1846.
  • The first boardwalk in the world was built in 1870 at Atlantic City.
  • The first copper mine in America was opened by enterprising Dutch settlers in the Kittatinny Mountains, circa 1640.
  • The first drive-in movie theater was built on a 10-acre plot in Camden County in 1933.
  • The first ferry service in the U.S. operated between Hoboken and Manhattan in 1811.
  • The first seashore resorts opened in Cape May and Long Branch in the early 1800s.
  • The first Miss America was chosen in Atlantic City in 1921.
  • The first movie was developed by Thomas A. Edison in West Orange in 1889.
  • The first brewery in America opened in Hoboken in 1642.
  • The first phonograph was made by Thomas A. Edison in Menlo Park in 1877.
  • The first balloon flight in America was made by Jean-Pierre Blanchard. On January 9,1793, he landed a balloon at Deptford carrying a letter from George Washington.
  • The first professional basketball game was played in Trenton in 1896.
  • The first incandescent lamp (light bulb) was made by Thomas A. Edison in Menlo Park in 1879.
  • The first submarine was built in 1878 by John Holland of Passaic County. The submarine is now in a public museum in Paterson.
  • The first condensed soup in America was cooked and canned in Camden County in 1897.
  • The first robot to replace a human worker was used by General Motors in Ewing Township in 1961.
  • The first saltwater taffy was produced at the Jersey shore in the 1870s.
  • The first solid body electric guitar was invented by Les Paul of Mahwah in 1940.
  • The first national historic park in America was established in 1933 in Morristown.
  • The first cultivated blueberries were marketed by Elizabeth White of Whitesbog in 1916.
  • The first steam locomotive to actually pull a train on a track was built by John Stevens of Hoboken in 1824.
  • The first town to be lighted by electricity was Roselle in 1883.
  • The first radio broadcast of the World Series was transmitted live on radio station WIZ in Newark in 1921.
  • The first intercollegiate football game was played by Rutgers and Princeton in New Brunswick on November 6, 1869. Rutgers won 6 to 4.
  • The first airplane passenger flight flew from New York to Atlantic City on May 3, 1919.