From the invention of the cheeseburger by 80/20 @ Kaelin’s Restaurant to the “Happy Birthday” song by the Hill Sisters, Louisville has been a hub of culture since its inception in 1778.
And all that culture is currently on display in the “Cool Kentucky” exhibit at the Frazier History Museum, which you can see for yourself this weekend Thurs.,-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Sunday from 12-5 p.m.
While we love the entire Bluegrass, we’re sticking to the city we know + love best to bring you four Coolvillians who have impacted our city and the world.
Drugstore owner John Colgan invented the first flavored chewing gum called, “Colgan’s Taffy Tolu,” which eventually found its way onto shelves across the US, Canada + Australia. It was a mixture of chicle and balsam tolu extract — both cough syrup ingredients — plus powdered sugar.
The Iroquois High School alumni hit it big with the Soundcloud release of “Don’t,” which led to a record deal with RCA. He was named Best New Artist + Best Male R&B/Pop Artist at the 2016 BET Awards. He also just released a Christmas album, which you can check out here.
Not only was she the first American — and first woman — to row by herself across the Atlantic Ocean, she was also the first to reach the summit of the Lewis Nunatak in Antarctica + the first to ski to the geographic South Pole. Now, she’s the president of Spalding University.
George & Mildred McCoy
George McCoy + his wife Mildred helped Black Kentuckians — as well as themselves — escape Louisville on the Underground Railroad in the 1830s. One of their children, Elijah McCoy, went on to earn 57 US patents for his inventions, including an automated lubrication system for trains. Elijah’s work inspired the common phrase, “The real McCoy,” as engineers seeking the technology wanted to confirm they were getting his invention.