Golden State Trivia: Which California City Invented the Internet?
Clue: It’s not where you might think.
- CategoryMakers + Entrepreneurs
From Hollywood to Hula Hoops, Los Angeles has long been a hotbed for creativity and invention. But did you know that the City of Angeles is also the birthplace of fast food, the Internet and Gangster Rap? Los Angeles Magazine recently featured 13 innovations that emerged in California’s largest metro. Here are some highlights:
“L.A. invented the supermarket and the supermarket invented L.A., or so said Vons founder Charles Von der Ahe. The mogul noted that as our linear city expanded, the first anchor in a neighborhood was always a sparkling new Vons or Ralphs, stores that forecast the endless expansion of our decentralized city. Just as the private automobile was coming into favor during the 1920s, Los Angeles responded with a completely different kind of building tailored to motorized transportation. Drive-in markets with multiple storefronts—bakeries, butcher shops, produce counters—were springing up all over town, each a sort of early version of the one-stop-shop mega-store. At the same time, electric refrigerators started replacing iceboxes, enabling Angelenos to stock up on a week’s worth of groceries in a single trip.”
The Electric Guitar
“The first guitars can be traced to Mesopotamia and Renaissance-era Europe, but the electric guitar is L.A. born and bred. In 1931 steel player George Beauchamp and engineer Adolph Rickenbacker founded Electro String Instrument Corporation, the birthplace of the “Frying Pan.” It’s no Telecaster, but it spawned some of today’s most eye-catching axes.”
The first fortune cookies Americans ever saw were, counterintuitively, Japanese: Sesame-and-miso-flavored treats with fortunes attached on the outside were unveiled at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. But you can thank Hong Kong Noodle Company for the cookies that are now tossed into Chinese takeout bags all over the country. The DTLA business adapted the Japanese recipe by swapping the miso and sesame for butter and vanilla (America!) and placing oblique proverbs inside. They may be nothing like their predecessors, but that’s the way the fortune cookie crumbles.”
Get the full list here.
Hidden away for 50 years, the treasures debut on the West Coast this month.