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The History of Pittsburgh, PA

pittsburgh personal injuyr attorney near music hall

The personal injury attorneys in Pittsburgh, PA, present this article to offer a historical excerpt about the area.

Pittsburgh is a city in the state of Pennsylvania. The city hosts approximately 300,286 residents, making it the 66th largest city in the U.S. and the second-most populous city in Pennsylvania. The city s located in the southwest of the state, at the confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River, forming the Ohio River.


In 1758, Pittsburgh was named by General John Forbes in honor of British statesman William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, and on April 22, 1794, the area was incorporated as a borough.

The federal government recognizes Pittsburgh as the starting point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the United States expedition to cross the newly acquired western portion of the country following the Louisiana Purchase. Preparations for the expedition began in 1803 when Merriweather Lewis bought a keelboat that later would be used to ascend the Missouri River.

When the War of 1812 cut off the supply of British goods, Pittsburgh began producing significant quantities of iron, brass, tin, and glass. By March 1816, the local area officially became a city and was served by several steamboats, which increased trading along the rivers.

In the 1830s, Pittsburgh saw a surge of Welsh immigrants following the aftermath of the Merthyr Rising, the violent climax to many years of simmering unrest among the largely working-class population of Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.

With the influx of immigrants, by 1840, Pittsburgh became one of the largest cities west of the Allegheny Mountains.

When the city experienced the Great Fire of Pittsburgh, a large fire that destroyed a third of the city, the area was largely rebuilt by Irish immigrants escaping the Great Famine.

The American Civil War brought life to the city's economy because of the increased iron and armament demand by the Union. In 1875, Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American industrialist, began steel production at the Edgar Thomson Steel Works in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, which evolved into the Carnegie Steel Company.

Manufacturing was key to building up the city in Pennsylvania, and the railroad lines built along the river increased trade and transport.

In the mid-1900s, the city's industrial jobs attracted European immigrants, and Pittsburgh's population vastly increased.

During World War II, the steel demand increased, and area mills operated 24 hours a day to keep up with demand. This led to the city's highest levels of air pollution. After the war, the city launched a clean air and civic revitalization project known as the "Renaissance".

By the later 20th century, Pittsburgh shifted its economic base to education, tourism, and services. Today, Pittsburgh is considered to be an economically strong city despite all its trials and tribulations.

Pittsburgh's history is so strong that it inspired President Barack Obama to host the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit.

Historic Landmarks

If you're looking to learn more about the history of Pittsburgh, make sure to check out some of the city's most famous historical landmarks. Some of the city's most historic destinations include,

  • The Carnegie Free Library, commissioned in 1899
  • The Carnegie Music Hall, built in 1899
  • The Cathedral of Learning, built in 1926
  • The Burke Building, built in 1836
  • The George J. Schmitt House, built in 1916
  • The Addy-Spencer House, built in 1869
  • The Byham Theater, built in 1903
  • The Calvary United Methodist Church, built from 1892-1895

Want to Learn More about Pittsburgh? Check out

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Pittsburgh PA 15235
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David Petrone
Date Published: May 3, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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