Did You Know?

  George Eastman's efforts to make photography portable in 1888, became the business we know today as the Eastman Kodak Company which is still headquartered in Rochester, NY. Because of Mr. Eastman's endeavors Rochester is known as the birthplace of both popular photography, motion picture film, and the evolution of both mediums as recognized art forms.

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  Abolitionist Frederick Douglass spent 25 of his most productive years in Rochester. Douglass, an escaped slave, published the abolitionist newspaper The North Star from Rochester and assisted Harriet Tubman in the dangerous work of helping slaves escape via the Underground Railroad.

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  In 1872, Susan B. Anthony was arrested in the living room of her Rochester home for voting in a presidential election.

More on Susan B. Anthony

  • In 2003 the Huggins index ranked Rochester first in the world for patents per capita, and Rochester-area entrepreneurs are granted patents at a rate six times higher than the national rate.

  • In 1789 Ebenezer "Indian" Allen built the area's first gristmill and the "Flour City" was born. With the advent of the Erie Canal to transport milled grain and lumber, Rochester became America"s first "Boom Town."

  • From bloomers to the fountain pen and the very first gold tooth, Rochester has had its share of firsts. The flour used to make graham crackers was developed by Rochesterian Sylvester Graham in the 19th century and commercial marshmallows were first mass produced in Rochester in 1895 by Joseph B. Demerath. It was here in 1904 that the first prepared mustard was manufactured by the R.T. French Company. In the nearby village of LeRoy, the food phenomenon known as Jell-O was created by Pearl B. Wait in 1897.

  • When John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb opened a small optical shop in Rochester in 1853, it was the start of the optical and health care company known as Bausch & Lomb.

  • Whispering Pines, designed in 1929, is the oldest, unaltered miniature golf course in N.Y and is widely considered the first in the country when it was named "Tall Maples Miniature Golf."

  • The Great, Great House of Guitars has been named a major location on Esquire magazine’s "Road Trip of Rock ‘n’ Roll" and is a "must stop" destination for generations of music pros when they are in the area.

  • Dave Brown Hats uses traditional tools and methods from centuries ago to create fedoras and Western hats worn by some of country's leading actors, sports figures and singers. Brown’s work has been seen in films such as Road to Perdition, Catch Me If You Can, and Chicago, which used 64 of his custom-made hats, and most recently The Aviator.

  • Hickey Freeman (www.hickeyfreeman.com) began in Rochester in 1899 when friends Jacob Freeman and Jeremiah Hickey decided to open their own company dedicated to making the high-quality clothing for which it is still known today. In 1988, the company created its immensely popular line of luxury sportswear: The Bobby Jones Collection.

  • Rochester’s first private golf course appeared in 1895, followed in 1899 by one of the first public courses in America. Known as having more golf holes per capita than any other industrial city in the northeast, there are more than 80 public and semi-private courses here today.

  • After being turned away by IBM, RCA, General Electric and Remington, Rochester inventor Chester Carlson sold his patent for dry-paper copying to the Haloid Company in 1945, which became the world-famous Xerox Corporation in 1961.

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