Vermont History and Genealogy

December 23, 2006

Vermont Firsts

Filed under: Famous Vermont Residents, Vermont Facts & Trivia — thedarwinexception @ 6:47 pm

Vermont Firsts






  • Thomas Davenport, born in Williamstown in 1802, moved to Brandon and established a successful blacksmith shop in 1823. He began experimenting with magnets and on February 25, 1837, was issued the first patent for an electrical motor. It weighed less than 100 pounds and operated a printing press. Davenport was also the inventor of the electric railway, piano, and printing press. 
  • On July 2, 1777 Vermont became the first state to abolish slavery.
  • Barre, Vermont was the first city to elect a socialist to office, in 1916.
  • In December 1790, the first patent in the US was issued to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont for a new method of making crude and commercial carbonate of potassium, used in glassmaking.
  • Vermont was the first stateadmitted to the union after the original thirteen colonies
  • Vermont was the first state to allow people who were not property owners the right to vote, in 1777.
  • The first person to receive a social security number for monthly payments was Ida M. Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont. Her social security number was 00-000-001. Her benefit on January 31, 1940 was $22.54.
  • The first postage stamp issued in the United States was made in Brattleboro, Vermont in 1846.
  • The first woman in the United States to be elected Lieutenant Governor was Consuelo N. Bailey, elected in 1954 in Vermont.
  • The first Revolutionary soldier to shed British blood at the Battle of Lexington, April 18, 1775 was Solomon Brown in New Haven, who thus fired the first effective shot in the Revolutionary War.
  • Vermont was the first state to offer troops in the Civil War.
  • The first American medal in an Olympic nordic skiing event was won by Bill Koch of Guilford, Vermont in 1976.
  • The first flag to lead American armed forces was the Bennington Flag, which was used at the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777.
  • The first school for higher education of women was established by Emma Willard at Middlebury in 1814.
  • The first chairlift used in the United States was on Mt. Mansfield in 1940.
  • The first agricultural society for dairymen, the Vermont Dairy Association, was organized in 1869 in Montpelier.
  • The first United States Ambassador to the United Nations was Warren R. Austin of Burlington. 
  • The first person to cross the entire United States by automobile was Dr. H. Nelson Jackson, a Burlington physician, who started out from Burlington in 1902.
  • Vermont was the first state to employ absentee voting, enacted in 1896.
  • The first Boy Scout troop was organized in Barre, Vermont in 1909 by William F. Milne.
  • The first Head Start Program, used to prepare disadvantaged preschool children for elementary school, was started in East Fairfield, Vermont with 12 children.
  • The first marble quarry was started at East Dorset, Vermont  in 1785 by Isaac Underhill.
  • Horace Wells of White River Junction, Vermont was the first person to use laughing gas as an anesthetic for pulling teeth in 1844.
  • The first steel carpenter’s square was invented by Silas Hawes of Shaftsbury, Vermont in 1814.
  • The first sandpaper was invented by Isaac Fisher at Springfield in 1834.
  • The first toy carts, violin cases and guitar cases sold in America were invented by Joel A.H. Ellis of Springfield in the mid 1800’s. Ellis also invented doll carriages and jointed dolls.



Many of the above facts were printed in a pamphlet written for the Vermont Bicentennial in 1991by the Vermont Historical Society




Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: