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Romantic Kokomo

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Kokomo and Howard County resources

Welcome to the City of Kokomo and Howard County information website! Our mission is to provide you with the most important information about Howard County, Indiana, and its main city Kokomo, also known as the “City of Firsts” due to its privileged history of technological discoveries and breakthroughs.

Howard County comprises a total area of approximately 294 square miles. It was first organized in 1844 and originally named Richardville County, in honor to Jean Baptiste Richardville, the last chief of the Miami tribe (a Native American nation that originally occupied Indiana, southwest Michigan and western Ohio). The county was later rechristened in 1844 in order to commemorate General Tilghman Ashurst Howard, a U.S. Representative from Indiana.

Howard County Indiana has a population of 83,000, as of the 2010 census. The county seat is Kokomo, a city rich in automotive heritage and history of technological advancements. The “City of Firsts”, as Kokomo is usually referred to, was the point of origin for the following inventions:

- 1894: First commercially built car, by Elwood Haynes.

- 1894: First pneumatic rubber tire, developed by D.C. Spraker, from the Kokomo Rubber Tire Company.

- 1895: First aluminum casting, by William Johnson at the Ford and Donnelly Foundry at Kokomo.

- 1902: First carburetor, built by George Kingston.

- 1906: First Stellite cobalt-base alloy, by Elwood Haynes.

- 1912: First stainless-steel tableware, again by Elwood Haynes.

- 1918: First “Howitzer Shell”, a type of artillery used in World War I, designed and developed by the Superior Machine Tool Company.

- 1918: First aerial bomb with fins, invented by the Liberty Pressed Metal Company.

- 1920: First mechanical corn picker, by John Powell.

- 1926: First dirilyte golden-hued tableware, by Carl Molin.

- 1928: First canned tomato juice invented by Walter Kemp from Kemp Brothers Canning Company. This invention was a response to a physician's request for baby food.

- 1938: First push-botton car radio, developed by Delco Radio Division of General Motors at Kokomo.

- 1941: First life boats and rafts made entirely of metal, by Globe American Stove Company.

- 1947: First signal-seeking car radio, developed by Delco Radio Division of General Motors.

- 1957: First all-transistor car radio, also by Delco Radio Division at Kokomo Indiana.

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