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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 1 April 2013

Spanish piasterOn this day in 1778 (specific date debatable), Oliver Pollock used a notation which we now know as the dollar sign ($). Pollock was a financier of the American Revolution and lived in New Orleans. The symbol for the Spanish piaster (equal to a dollar) was a double shank “P” with an “s” in the upper right corner. Pollock gradually began to superimpose the “s” onto the “P”, eventually using the “s” with only the double lines through it. This is evidenced in Pollock’s letters to Robert Morris. 1

Frederick A.C. MuhlenbergIn 1789 on this day, the U.S. House of Representatives met a quorum for the first time, meeting in New York City at Federal Hall. It was required that 30 Representatives be present to have a quorum. Frederick A.C. Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania was elected the presiding officer. 2

In 1853 on this day, Cincinnati established the first professional and fully paid fire department in the nation. After a fire destroyed Miles Greenwood’s Eagle Ironworks in 1852, he and Abel Shawk, a locksmith, and Alexander Bonner Latta, a locomotive builder, began constructing what became the world’s first practical steam-powered fire engine. Their version proved to be very practical and more efficient. Local government leaders were so pleased with the new fire engines, they formed a professional department instead of relying on volunteers. 3

Cincinnati Fire Department

 

1 “Oliver Pollock: Forgotten Patriot,” doggesbreakfast.com/history/olvier-pollock-forgotten.html
2 “The First Quorum of the House of Representatives,” history.house.gov/Historical-Highlights/1700s/The-first-Quorum-of-the-House-of-Representatives/
3 “Cincinnati Fire Department: First in the Nation,” City of Cincinnati Fire & EMS, cincinnati-oh.gov/fire/history

 

 

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