When you first traverse into the Capital City, visitors from near and far are met with our city’s beloved moniker: Trenton Makes, the World Takes. Shining like a beacon on the banks of the Delaware River, this phrase is far more than a witty tagline – it is a way of life. From industrial wares to delectable regional cuisine, Trenton has a rich past, present, and future of producing some of the world’s most in-demand goods. Beyond just producing goods, however, Trenton also boasts an impressive repertoire of items invented in our community. Today, let’s take a look back as we unpack some of Trenton’s most famous inventions.

In any conversation regarding Trenton’s famous inventions, we would be remiss if we did not start off with our most famous export: Pork Roll! No matter where you stand on the Pork Roll vs. Taylor Ham debate, New Jerseyans can all agree that there’s nothing in the world quite like this beloved breakfast staple. Pork roll was invented the Capital City by John Taylor in 1856. When pork roll first hit the market, Mr. Taylor dubbed his invention Taylor Ham, which is still the chosen moniker for many North Jerseyans today. However, in 1906, the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act determined that this product no longer met the requirements to be classified as ham, thus permanently making the switch to pork roll. No matter what you call it, however, pork roll is a permanent point of pride for every Trentonian.

When you’re having aches and pains, chances are you reach for an aspirin. But did you know that this medicine cabinet staple has its roots right here in the Capital City? Trenton played a significant role in the development and manufacturing of Bayer aspirin, a product used by countless Americans every single day. Originally conceptualized in 1898, the Bayer aspirin was invented after Friedrich Bayer set out to discover a medication which could relieve the common headache. As interest in aspirin grew, in order to meet the demand for this miraculous new product, Bayer opened up a brand-new facility here in Trenton. A state-of-the-art facility featuring top of the line manufacturing equipment, this undertaking represents one of Trenton’s most notable achievements.

One final Trenton staple that we’ll be exploring today is the Oyster Cracker, a delicious addition to any bowl of soup or chowder. Oyster Crackers were invented in 1847 by Adam Exton, who set out to create a recipe for the perfect addition to a bowl of oyster stew. After its invention, the cracker took the region by storm, quickly causing other businesses to get in on the craze. Once the craze began, Exton was known to ride around Trenton in a wagon selling these crunchy crackers to city residents. The invention of the Oyster Cracker came at the perfect time, as oysters came into style as a popular food in the late 1800s. A delicious craze that’s stood the test of time, there’s a little taste of Trenton in delectable meals all throughout the nation.

From your breakfast staples to your headache cures, countless luxuries of day to day life were conceived right here in the Capital City. And as we triumphantly forge ahead towards Trenton’s future, we have countless sources of inspiration to look to as we pioneer towards a brighter tomorrow.

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