Forget what outsiders say about New Jersey when all they’ve seen (and smelled) of it is around Turnpike Exit 13A after landing at Newark Airport. We’re much more than that and you know it.

We’re mountains and state parks and shore towns and boardwalks and concert venues and main streets. We have among the finest schools in the country. Some of the best food imaginable. Some of the biggest names in show business.

Yes, the politicians have screwed up in making it too expensive and too restrictive. But we have a lot going for us as a state and should give ourselves more credit.

Well did you know that New Jersey was first in a lot of things that you probably had no idea about?

White Street, Roselle (Google Maps)
White Street, Roselle (Google Maps)
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For example. Did you know we had the first town not just in the country but in the whole world wired for electricity? That was Roselle in 1883 (and an electric company probably immediately raised their rates two months later).

Scan It! barcode
Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ
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Did you know the world's first barcode came from New Jersey? It’s true. That’s because it was invented by N. Joseph Woodland of Atlantic City in 1952.

Rika Sato vis Unsplash
Rika Sato vis Unsplash
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The nation’s first steam train was built here. It was designed by Colonel John Stevens of Hoboken. This was in 1862 and he tested it in a small track on his own property.

Far Hills Race Meeting
(Far Hills Race Meeting)
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The first-ever derby happened in New Jersey in 1864 on June 7, 11 years before the Kentucky Derby.

North American Numbering Plan Administration
North American Numbering Plan Administration
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Maybe you knew 201 was the first area code in New Jersey. But did you know it was the first area code anywhere? It came about in 1947 and served the entire state but now covers mostly just Bergen County.

New Jersey Re-Opens Retail Stores And Outdoor Dining In Easing Of COVID-19 Rules
Getty Images
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By some accounts, the first brewery in the United States belonged to Hoboken in the year 1642. It’s also been said Hoboken had the first official supper club and was frequented by the likes of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton.

Getty stock / Thinkstock
Getty stock / Thinkstock
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The first traffic circle in the United States opened in 1925 in Pennsauken. Ninety-six years later and still no one knows who has the right of way.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

You can now listen to Deminski & Doyle — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite afternoon radio show any day of the week. Download the Deminski & Doyle show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now:

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