Liverpool Firsts

City Guide | Last updated : 14/08/2016

1639 – Liverpool born Jeremiah Horrocks was the first person to show that the Moon moved around the Earth in an elliptical orbit and to predict the 1639 Transit of Venus.

1791 – First school for blind people opens (Commutation Row, and later London Road in 1800).

1812 – The only British Prime Minister to be assassinated – Spencer Percival was shot by bankrupt Liverpool merchant John Bellingham.

1830 – First railway passenger fatality (William Huskisson).

1835 – World’s first railway timetable published (Lacy’s).

1841 – Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals, later RSPCA, founded. First British purpose-built office block (Brunswick Buildings).

1842 – World’s first public Baths and Washhouses founded by Kitty Wilkinson (Upper Frederick Street).

1857 – World’s first Rugby Club and Britain’s first Chess Club.

1860 – First purpose built public library.

1867 – Britain’s first cycling club (Liverpool Velocipedes).

1877 – First British public Art Gallery (Walker Art Gallery) 1883 The Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, later the NSPCC, founded on April 19th by T.F. Agnew and Samuel Smith.

1884 – Britain’s first woman to qualify as a doctor opens a practice in Liverpool.

1889 – First pre-payment gas meters installed by the Liverpool Gas Company (Cazeneau Street). Liverpool’s Police Force the first to be equipped with rubber soled boots for night duty.

1890 – Football goal nets invented by ex-City Engineer John Brodie.

1893 – World’s first overhead electric railway.

1895 – First British School of Architecture and Applied Art.

1896 – First British use of x-ray in medical diagnosis (at the Southern Hospital).

1899 – Britain’s first School of Tropical Medicine.

1901 – First escalator in a railway station (at Seaforth Sands Station, on the Overhead Railway). Patent for Meccano taken out by Frank Hornby.

1902 – Britain’s first motor fire engine (Hatton Garden Fire Station). 1904 University of Liverpool establishes Britain’s first school of Veterinary Science.

1912 – First automatic telephone exchange.

1913 – The world’s first crossword puzzle was compiled by Liverpool born Arthur Wynne and appeared in the New York World.

1927 – Liverpool’s first woman Lord Mayor (Margaret Bevan). First British Arts Centre (Bluecoat).

1932 – First purpose built boxing stadium in Britain (Bixteth Street).

1933 – First use of gas and air in childbirth (Dr R.J. Minnett at the Maternity Hospital).

1934 – First British police force to use a two way radio communications system.

1946 – First footballer to score three consecutive hat-tricks (Jack Balmer, playing for Liverpool FC).

1947 – World’s first Radar Lighthouse.

1952 – First hospital radio service. Britain’s first package holiday flight (from Liverpool Airport).

1953 – Liverpool singer Lita Roza is the first British woman to top the charts (“How Much is that Doggy in the Window?”).

1960 – First bank in the world to use a computer (Martin’s)

1962 – First port in Britain to use a computer (Mersey Docks & Harbour Company).

1964 – First Police Force to use closed-circuit television. 1970 Britain’s first public planetarium (World Museum).

1978 – The world’s largest Anglican Cathedral has the world’s largest organ and highest and heaviest peal of bells.

1983 – The Walton sextuplets are the world’s first all-female surviving sextuplets.

1984 – Liverpool FC are the first football club to win three major competitions in one season.

2011 – First British city to install rainbow street signs identifying the Gay Quarter.