Iconic ‘Firsts’ From Rochester, New York


Whilst New York City is famous for countless inventions and cultures, it’s very easy for such a populated metropolis to churn out genius.

More unique is the comparatively compact city of Rochester in upstate New York, home to a wide range of weird and wonderful creations. With beautiful scenery and a range of luxurious boutique hotels in Rochester, the city retains a unique culture bolstered by its history of inventiveness and creativity.

It’s only when you dig beneath the surface of this glittering city that you can fully understand the depths of its contributions to the city. From the weird to the plain ol’ useful, Rochester is home to more than just the Rochester Riverside Hotel New York.

Below are just some of the unique foods, inventions and other famous things to have come out of Rochester over the years.

The first marshmallows in America

MarshmallowBefore the rise of the marshmallow in 1900, Joseph B Demerath was five years ahead of the competition with his Rochester Marshmallow Works in 1895. In Rochester, Marshmallows became widely appreciated before copycats cropped up throughout the country.

For ‘mallow lovers, you can still find the old factory where the marshmallows were first manufactured in the High Falls District of the city.

Home to the writer of the Pledge of Allegiance

Francis Bellamy writerBaptists Minister and Christian socialist Francis Bellamy was a student at Rochester College and became famous for writing what is now known as the Pledge of Allegiance.

Whilst working for patriotic magazine “Youths Companion” Bellamy was tasked with writing a pledge to accompany a flag salute, so in 1892, the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus discovering America, Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge is now heard in almost every school in the USA and was actually written as a ploy to promote sales of US flags to schools.

First Mustard in the world

mustard in rochesterAnother culinary gem first manufactured in Rochester is mustard. In 1904, the RT French Company began making mustard, adding yet another ‘first’ to the then growing city.

Home to the inventor of breakfast cereal

breakfast and cerealNutritionist James Caleb Jackson was best known for creating the first multigrain dry cereal back in 1863, naming it Granula. His strict ruling out of coffee, alcohol, and meats from his diet seemed to do the trick, as he lived to the ripe age of 84 in Dansville New York, just outside of Rochester.

Susan B Anthony – quintessential women’s rights activist

Susan B.AnthonyMoving to Rochester in 1845, Susan B Anthony was one of the most famous activists in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. With the founding of the New York Women’s State Temperance Society, she eventually collected 400,000 signatures in support of the abolition of slavery. Susan B Anthony is responsible for the legacy of liberalism and tolerance in Rochester and is undoubtedly one of the most influential and important residents of the city.

George Eastman, the inventor of Kodak

George EastmanOne of the largest legacies of Rochester is that of George Eastman, the inventor of the Kodak film camera.

Living on his estate in Rochester, he also created the Eastman School of Music in 1921, sharing his love for the arts by creating one of the most famous schools and galleries in the country. Located close by luxury hotels in Rochester, the Eastman School of Music hosts student and professional musician shows, as well as a gallery space for the contemporary arts.


Why Rochester called the flour city?

Earlier Rochester was called the flour city as Rochester used to produce large quantity of flours from and also used to have large number of flours producing mills. It was then, called the Flower city by the locals of Rochester

Is Rochester the mustard city?

Mustard is the name of the brand called French. This prepared French cream salad brand is used a Rochester specialty dish “Garbage Plate”, this is from where the name came into existence.