Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes, in honor of British statesman William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. The original pronunciation would have been pits-b?-r?, matching similarly named places in Great Britain such as Edinburgh in Scotland and Aldeburgh in Suffolk. Pittsburgh was incorporated as a township in 1771 and as a borough on April 22, 1794 with the following Act:”Be it enacted by the Pennsylvania State Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania…by the authority of the same, that the said town of Pittsburgh shall be…erected into a borough, which shall be called the borough of Pittsburgh for ever.”

The current pronunciation, which is extremely unusual in English speaking countries, is almost certainly a result of a printing error in some copies of the City Charter of March 18, 1816 (though not on the original document). The error was repeated commonly enough throughout the rest of the 19th century that the original pronunciation was lost and in 1890 the “h” was removed in order to make it easier to spell. After a public campaign the original spelling was officially restored by the United States Board on Geographic Names in 1911.

In 1901, Carnegie merged several companies into U.S. Steel. By 1910, Pittsburgh was the nation’s 8th-largest city, accounting for between a third and a half of national steel output. The city’s population swelled to over a half million with European immigration via Ellis Island in New York harbor.

The East End is home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carlow University, Chatham University, The Carnegie Institute’s Museums of Art and Natural History, Frick Art & Historical Center (Clayton and the Frick art museum), Phipps Conservatory, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The neighborhoods of Shadyside and Squirrel Hill are large, wealthy neighborhoods with some apartments and condos. They enjoy pedestrian-oriented shopping/business districts. Oakland, heavily populated by undergraduate and graduate students, is home to most of the universities, Schenley Park and the Petersen Events Center. 

City of Pittsburgh seen from Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.

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