12 Things Philly Has Given America (You're Welcome!)

Published On 04/20/2015 Published On 04/20/2015

It’s time to pay homage to all the American goodness that was born in the City of Brotherly Love. You know we aren’t afraid to brag about the greatness Philadelphians have produced, (even fictional Philadelphians), so here are 12 things that the nation would be living without if it weren’t for Philadelphia.

Flickr/Chad Horwedel

1. America 

Let’s just get it out of the way -- despite what Boston may think, Philly has done more for the founding of the US than any other city. Among the important events that occurred in Philly: the drafting and signings of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the meeting of the first Continental Congress, and the creation of the American Flag (drops mic).  

2. Inventor/genius Ben Franklin

On top of all his contributions to the founding of the country, the man created lightning rods, odometers, swim fins, the Franklin stove, and early electrical research. The list of inventions goes on and on, it's so long you'd need bifocals to read it the whole way through... bifocals that Ben Franklin INVENTED!

Flickr/Timothy Wildey

3. Fire departments

With a nation built on glorifying pyromania, it was only a matter of time before we needed someone to put out those fires. Enter the Union Fire Company, the nation’s (and potentially world’s) first volunteer fire company started in 1736. 

4. Reimbursing you for the fire departments

If you DO happen to burn your house down, you can thank the Philadelphia Contributionship (1752) for the fire insurance that compensates you for the accident (yeaaaah... accident, that's right).

Flickr/Tina Leggio

5. Excuses not to walk

Philly’s been leading the way for the lazy for the past 100 years, with the nation’s first taxi service (1884) and escalator (1901). Maybe there’s a reason that we wear more sweatpants than any other city in the country. 

6. Comcast

Cable service: great! Customer service: bad! But, we do have that sweet tower. 

7. American sandwiches (forget the Earl of...)

We may have talked about this once, or twice, or a few other times before, but Philly has given the US -- and the rest of the world -- the mighty cheesesteak. For the non-whiz inclined, Philly is also the birthplace of the hoagie.

Flickr/Wally Gobetz

8. Both places to keep and lose your money

We had the nation's first public bank and the nation's first public stock exchange. They're two things that work well separately, but start trouble when they spend too much time together.

9. The US Capital

DC may have that title now, but Philly was the first capital of the US under the Continental Congress for two months. That’s longer than the entire presidential term of William Henry Harrison, so there's that!

Flickr/John Irving

10. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon...

Did you know that Kevin Bacon was born and raised in Philadelphia? Well now you do and you can thank the city (and Mrs. Bacon) for bringing him into the world. For instance, without Philly we wouldn’t know how many movie connections separate Kevin Bacon from Shaq. For the record, it’s two degrees: Shaquille O'Neal was in Grown Ups 2 with John Joseph Lindsey, who was in Black Mass with Kevin Bacon. 

11. ... And a whole bunch of other celebrities

The list of Philly-born stars include: Adam McKay, Bradley Cooper, Tina Fey, Bob Saget, Will Smith, Kevin Hart, Richard Gere, Seth Green, and Taylor Swift. That’s not even including the dozens of other famous artists, musicians, sports stars, writers, politicians, academics, and pudding spokesmen we feel really gross talking about.

FX Networks

12. The D.E.N.N.I.S. System

Thank Philly for setting the scene for native-son Rob McElhenney's comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If George Washington had a system for picking up women (sorry Martha), he couldn't have done it any better than Dennis.

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Dan McKay is a freelance writer/photographer living in Philly. He was once the fastest kid in second grade but now gets winded walking up the Rocky steps. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram @dannypageviews.



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