ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting North America»
  • United States

Kokomo - City of Firsts

Updated on March 8, 2015
Kokomo is named for a Miami Indian
Kokomo is named for a Miami Indian | Source

Kokomo, named after a Miami chief, bills itself as "The City of Firsts." Three of the firsts were accomplished by Elwood Haynes, who came to Kokomo during the Indiana Gas Boom. His former home is now the Elwood Haynes Museum.

Kokomo has a population of around 50,000 and is generally thought of as a manufacturing town. Chrysler has a couple large automotive transmission plants in Kokomo. Delphi, which was once part of General Motors and has a long history in Kokomo, still has a major presence. Delphi, formerly Delco, is also responsible for some of Kokomo's firsts.

If you are visiting Kokomo, be sure to visit Highland Park to see Old Ben. There is also a covered bridge and giant sycamore stump in the park. If you are a cyclist, you will want to take a ride on the Nickel Plate Trail.

Kokomo's 15 Firsts

Kokomo's 15 firsts have been etched in glass and are on display at the main public library. Here is the list:

  • First commercially built auto. Elwood Haynes made his first trial run on July 4, 1894. City officials were concerned about safety, so he had the car towed by horses to the edge of town before starting his test run.
  • First pneumatic rubber tire. Haynes was looking to make the ride in his auto more comfortable, and he talked with David Spraker. Spraker came up with a new tire in October of 1894. He went on to found the Kokomo Rubber Tire Company.
  • First aluminum casting. Produced by William Johnson in 1895 at the Ford & Donnelly Foundry.
  • First carburetor. George Kingston came to Kokomo in 1901 and worked for William Johnson at the Ford & Donnelly Foundry for a short time before developing his carburetor in 1902.
  • First Stellite cobalt-based alloy. Elwood Haynes came up with this in 1906.
  • First stainless steel. Elwood Haynes developed stainless steel in 1912. He wanted to create silverware that Mrs. Haynes would not have to polish.
  • First American howitzer shell used in war. Developed by the Superior Machine Tool Company in 1918.
  • First aerial bomb with fins. Produced by Liberty Pressed Metal Company in 1918.
  • First mechanical corn picker. Developed by John Powell in the early 1920s.
  • Dirilyte golden-hued tableware. The alloy was developed by Carl Molin in 1914 and first used for tableware in 1926.
  • First canned tomato juice. Walter Kemp of Kemp Brothers Canning came up with this in 1928.
  • First push button car radio. The Delco Radio Division of General Motors produced the first one in 1938.
  • First all metal lifeboat. Manufactured by Globe American Stove Company in 1941.
  • First signal seeking car radio. Another first by the Delco Radio Division of General Motors in 1947.
  • First all transistor car radio. Also by Delco Radio Division of General Motors. The first one was produced in 1957.

Sieberling Mansion

Monroe Sieberling came to Kokomo in 1887 from Akron, Ohio. He founded the Kokomo Strawboard Company which produced shoeboxes from straw. He soon sold that company and started the Diamond Plate Glass Company, now the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company.

In 1890 he built a 29-room mansion at a cost of $50,000. The architecture is a combination of Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival. Since it was built during the Indiana Gas Boom, it originally used gas for both heating and lighting. The Howard County Historical Society now manages the property.

The Sieberling Mansion was built in 1890 at a cost of $50,000
The Sieberling Mansion was built in 1890 at a cost of $50,000 | Source

Highland Park

Highland Park occupies 80 acres in Kokomo. It has all the usual amenities of a city park, along with some unique items. There is an 1875 covered bridge that was moved to the park from its original location. There is a small building in the park that houses a giant sycamore stump and giant steer. The 51-foot circumference sycamore stump came from a 100-foot high sycamore tree that was blown down by a storm in 1915. The tree was located on a farm near New London in Howard County. Also in that building is Old Ben. Old Ben was a 4,720-pound steer that was raised north of Kokomo. Born in 1902, he was exhibited all over the nation until his death in 1910.

The Vermont Covered Bridge was built in 1875
The Vermont Covered Bridge was built in 1875 | Source

Nickel Plate Trail

The Nickel Plate Trail follows the route of the Nickel Plate Railroad. It runs from Kokomo to Rochester. The total trail length is over 40 miles and currently there are 34 paved miles. It is excellent for biking and walking. When there is sufficient snow (It doesn't happen often), you can even cross-country ski on it.

Kokomo doesn't get a lot of snow, but when it does you can cross-country ski on the Nickel Plate Trail
Kokomo doesn't get a lot of snow, but when it does you can cross-country ski on the Nickel Plate Trail | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)