The House of Scouse
Facts & Firsts about Liverpool
- Liverpool's status can be judged from the fact that it was the only British city ever to have its own Whitehall office.
The first United States consulate anywhere in the world, James Maury, was appointed to Liverpool in 1790, and remained in office for 39 years.
Liverpool was also the site of the UK's first provincial airport, operating from 1930.
Ferries, railways, transatlantic steamships, municipal trams, electric trains and the helicopter were all pioneered in Liverpool as modes of mass transit.
In 1829 and 1836 the first underground railway tunnels in the world were constructed under Liverpool.
The first School for the Blind, Mechanics' Institute, High School for Girls, council house and Juvenile Court were all founded in Liverpool.
The RSPCA, NSPCC, Age Concern, Relate, Citizen's Advice Bureau and Legal Aid all evolved from work in the city.
- The first British Nobel Prize was awarded in 1902 to Ronald Ross, professor at the School of Tropical Medicine, the first school of its kind in the world.
- Orthopaedic surgery was pioneered in Liverpool by Hugh Owen Thomas, and modern medical anaesthetics by Thomas Cecil Gray.
- In finance, Liverpool founded the UK's first Underwriters' Association] and the first Institute of Accountants. The Western world's first financial derivatives (cotton futures) were traded on the Liverpool Cotton Exchange in the late 1700s.
- In the arts, Liverpool was home to the first lending library, athenaeum society, arts centre and public art conservation centre. Liverpool is also home to the UK's oldest surviving classical orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
- In 1864, Peter Ellis built the world's first iron-framed, curtain-walled office building, Oriel Chambers, the prototype of the skyscraper.
- Between 1862 and 1867, Liverpool held an annual Grand Olympic Festival. Devised by John Hulley and Charles Melly, these games were the first to be wholly amateur in nature and international in outlook. The programme of the first modern Olympiad in Athens in 1896 was almost identical to that of the Liverpool Olympics In 1865 Hulley co-founded the National Olympian Association in Liverpool, a forerunner of the British Olympic Association. Its articles of foundation provided the framework for the International Olympic Charter.
- In 1897, the Lumière brothers filmed Liverpool, including what is believed to be the world's first tracking shot, taken from the Liverpool Overhead Railway – the world's first elevated electrified railway.
- Liverpool inventor Frank Hornby was a visionary in toy development and manufacture and produced three of the most popular lines of toys in the 20th century: Meccano, Hornby Model Railways and Dinky Toys.
- In 1999, Liverpool was the first city outside the capital to be awarded blue plaques by English Heritage in recognition of the "significant contribution made by its sons and daughters in all walks of life."