As one of the original 13 colonies, Pennsylvania has some mighty interesting firsts—the first banana split, the first commercial use of a computer, the first zoo in the US, and first automobile service station in the nation. Would you like to honor any of those firsts with an outstanding and meaningful wedding favor your guests will love? Here’s how!

Fun with Firsts and Favors

If you’re a Pennsylvanian (or if you ever took a history class anywhere in the US,) you know that Philadelphia was our nation’s first capitol, and that was just the beginning of many firsts for the Keystone state. Before you think that honoring one of Pennsylvania’s firsts with a wedding favor is carrying state pride just a tad too far, let’s take a look at some of those firsts and see what kind of wonderful wedding favors we can find to commemorate them.

First Banana Split

Though Boston also claims bragging rights, it’s believed the first banana split was made by Dr. David Strickler of Latrobe, PA. He was working in a pharmacy at the time, and he later became a pharmacist and optician. Latrobe proudly celebrates this achievement with buttons and T-shirts. Because there were no dishes available for the banana split’s unique shape, Dave designed his own, and started a company in nearby Grapeville. If you love your state and you love banana splits, consider banana split salt-and-pepper shakers.

First Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo was our country’s first public zoo, opening its gates July 1, 1874. Built on the land where the home of John Penn (Pennsylvania founder William’s grandson) still stands, the zoo’s opening day was quite a bash, with flags flying, brass bands playing and more than 3,000 visitors who paid 25 cents (and just 10 cents for kids) to spend the day in a very unusual way. The nation has the zoo’s founding father, Philadelphia physician Dr. William Camac, to thank for enabling us to get up-close and personal with animals from around the world, including the mighty elephant. You can thank your guests and send them good wishes with the Lucky Elephant silver- or gold-finish place card holders that will trumpet the news of your wedding day!

First State to List Its URL on a License Plate

In 1999, Pennsylvania became the first state to feature the state’s official Web site on standard-issue license plates. Then in a creative, 2003 marketing move, the plate design was modified to include the state’s official tourism Web site. Honor this first with a “getaway car” favor box, stylin’ with an expandable top and tin cans flying from the back. If you want, you can make your own tiny PA license plates, and stick them on the back of the car! Then take off into Penn’s Woods for a happy honeymoon!

By Susan Hawkins