Detroit was the first city nation to: 

  • Assign individual telephone numbers (1879) 
  • Hold a state fair (the Michigan State Fair was the first held in 1849) 
  • Pave a mile of concrete road (on Woodward Avenue between Six and Seven Mile roads in 1909)
  • Install a traffic light, manually operated by a staff of policemen (1915) 
  • Share an automobile traffic tunnel between two nations (United States and Canada, 1930) 
  • Develop an urban freeway (the Davison in 1942) 
  • Taste an ice cream soda (when a clerk at Sanders confectionery ran out of sweet cream and in desperation used ice cream in 1875. The rest is history!) 
  • Hear the clickety-clack of a typewriter (invested in 1829 by Detroiter Austin Burt)
  • Enjoy morning coffee brewed in an automatic coffeemaker (the Coffee Clock invented by George Schuler)
  • Drink milk from a paperboard carton (by Pur-Pak in 1930)