Statistically Speaking

First-year students are preparing for the novel experiences that will define their first year at Carnegie Mellon — and they fall right into step with a long line of Pittsburgh firsts. Although Carnegie Mellon can boast of its own fair share of firsts — including the first emoticon in 1982 and the first campus-wide wireless network in 1994 — Pittsburgh has always been home to innovators. Following is a list of firsts that originated in, or around, the Steel City and took off to leave a nation- wide footprint.

David Strickler, a pharmacist’s apprentice, invented the banana split. the pharmacy he worked at — Tassel Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh — sold the first banana split for 10 cents, twice the price of the store’s other sundaes. Strickler, who was 23 years old when he invented the dessert, later bought Tassel and renamed it Strickler’s Pharmacy.

**1913 **
The world’s first drive-in gas station opened on Nov. 30 at the intersection of Baum Boulevard and St. Clair Street in East Liberty. Drivers hand-pumped their gas and checked fuel levels with a dipstick; the station opened decades before the invention of the fuel gauge and the fuel pump.

KDKa began broadcasting from Pittsburgh to became the world’s first commercially licensed radio station. Originally operated by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, KDKa is currently owned by CBS radio.

Jim Delligatti, owner of several McDonald’s franchises in the Pittsburgh area, debuted the Big Mac at his Uniontown restaurant for less than 50 cents.