I've reviewed some of the great ideas, inventions, and innovations to come out of Pittsburgh as well as some of the general highlights of the city, so today we'll explore the history of the great city itself!
The area surrounding the headwaters of the Ohio was originally inhabited by the tribes of Allegawis, Adena, Hopewell, Delaware, Jacobi, Seneca, Shawnee, and several settled groups of Iroquois. The French were the first Europeans to settle here and they founded Fort Duquesne on the site. During the French and Indian War General John Forbes's troops succeeded in taking the fort. Afterward Forbes ordered the construction of Fort Pitt, named after British Secretary of State William Pitt the Elder. He also named the settlement between the rivers "Pittsborough".
In the early days of the country Pittsburgh was home to the Whiskey Rebellion. The Civil War boosted the city's economy with increased production of iron and armaments. Steel production began by 1875, when Andrew Carnegie founded the J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works in North Braddock, which eventually evolved into the Carnegie Steel Company. The success and growth of Carnegie Steel was attributed to Henry Bessemer, inventor of the Bessemer Process.
In 1901, the U.S. Steel Corporation was formed, and by 1911 Pttsburgh was producing between a third and a half of the nation's steel. During World War II, Pittsburgh produced 95 million tons of steel. By this time, the pollution from burning coal and steel production created a black fog (or smog), which even a century earlier had induced author writer James Parton to dub the city "hell with the lid off".
Following the war, the city launched a clean air and civic revitalization project known as the "Renaissance." This much-acclaimed effort was followed by the "Renaissance II" project, begun in 1977 and focusing more on cultural and neighborhood development than its predecessor. The industrial base continued to expand through the 1960s, but beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, the steel industry in the region declined with massive layoffs and mill closures.Beginning in the 1980s, the city shifted its economic base to education, tourism, and services, largely based on healthcare, medicine, and high technology such as robotics.
The city is on the Allegheny Plateau, where the confluence of the Allegheny River from the northeast and Monongahela River from the southeast form the Ohio River. The Downtown area between the rivers is known as the Golden Triangle, and the site at the actual convergence, which is occupied by Point State Park, is referred to simply as "the Point." In addition to the downtown Golden Triangle, the city extends northeast to include the Oakland and Shadyside sections, which are home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Museum and Library, and many other educational, medical, and cultural institutions
Pittsburgh is often referred to as the City of Bridges or the River City. Situated as it is on three rivers with many smaller bodies of water in the region and many hills and valleys, Pittsburgh has more bridges than any city in the world.
Pittsburgh often places high in lists of the nation's most livable cities. After placing fourth and first in the first two editions of "Places Rated Almanac", Pittsburgh went on to finish third in 1989, fifth in 1993, 14th in 1997 and 12th in 2000, before reclaiming the number one spot in 2007.The survey's primary author, David Savageau, has noted that Pittsburgh is the only city to finish in the top 20 of every edition