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The Chicago History Museum used to have a whole section on things that were either invented or made in Chicago.

There is even a TV show called 'Made in Chicago'
 

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There have been many things invented in Chicago, including small things like the first controlled nuclear reaction (if you consider that an invention), but they all pale in comparison to the invention of all inventions:

 

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The assembly line was more or less invented by Swift and Armour in the stockyards. Henry Ford saw the yards, and then applied the idea to production of automobiles in order to lower the cost and make cars affordable.
 

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Regenstein's vast fortune was built on his invention of the see-through envelope; a simple modification to the envelope that saved millions of man hours of typing.
 

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Some more things I believe that were invented in Chicago.vacuum cleaner [1869]
1. elevated railway [1883]
2. softball [1887]
3. open heart surgery [1893]
4. ferris wheel [1893]
5. zipper [1896]
6. modern skyscraper (1885)
7. fixed trunnion bascule bridge [1902]
8. electric washing machine [1910]
9. pinball machine [1931]
10. twinkie [1931]
11. spray paint [1949]
12. electric blues;
13. turtle(candy)
14.Braille typewriter
15. first national political convention; (1860, nominated Lincoln
16. first air conditioned office building(Wrigley Building);
17. Ice cream sundae; (Evanston actually but close enough)
18. Prarie home (Oal Park)
19. blood banks;
20. Weinermobile;
21. First organ in a baseball park; Wrigley field
22. Roller skates (invented by Levant Richardson of Chicago)
23. First classic McDonald’s
24. Cracker Jacks (invented by F.W. Rueckheim in Chicago in 1893)
25. The detective agency (founded by Allen Pinkerton in the 19th century)
26. The Weber grill(invented by George Stephens of Palatine in 1951)
27. Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum(devised by Chicago’s William Wrigley Jr. Company
28. Lava lamps(1965)
29. Electric iron
30. Electric cooking range
31. Grain reaper
32. Reactor to produce electricity from atomic energy
33. Window envelope
34. Co-educational public high school
35. Railroad sleeping car
36. The bifocal contact lens
37. The winding watch
38. Saganaki
39. Deep Dish pizza
40. Playboy magazine
41. Playboy clubs
42. First Aquarium 1893.

Not strictly Chicago and not an invention but.....
Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery. 1865













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Jack-Of-All-Trades
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1. elevated railway [1883]
Well, according to the good folks at Chicago-L.org, NYC opened their first L in 1867. Ours didn't open until 1892, although the idea was first proposed in 1869. Interestingly, New York missed the boat on the first subway in America, which goes to Boston.
 

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Well, according to the good folks at Chicago-L.org, NYC opened their first L in 1867. Ours didn't open until 1892, although the idea was first proposed in 1869. Interestingly, New York missed the boat on the first subway in America, which goes to Boston.
Once again I stand corrected. But they did use the Chicago El as the elevated NYC train in Spiderman 2.
 

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I think the Palmer House should start serving brownies, either in their restaurant or through a small street store. I'd love to be able to get an apricot-glazed hot Original Brownie while walking down State Street... which needs some more unique "Chicago" attractions anyway.
 
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