Upon researching Google’s zipper doodle honoring Gideon Sundback I couldn’t help but indulge in a bit of hometown pride when I read that he died in Meadville, PA and is interred in Greendale Cemetery.
So he died in Meadville. He invented the zipper, not the nuclear submarine. In fact, technically he didn’t even invent it. Technically.
But celebrities are who we make them to be. I for one am celebrating functionality and the rigorous, rainy, chronically-depressed-but-never-beaten place of my birth. Call me sentimental but whenever I visit the local hardware store here in Virginia I have to pick up a Channellock tool and find the “Made in Meadville, PA” stamp. Sure it conjures up images of grimy smokestacks and winter slush, images which quickly erase any desire to move back. But home isn’t home because it’s perfect, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake the goofy nostalgia I feel whenever I ease my car onto I-79’s Exit 147-A. Even Meadville’s orange street lights are a bit gloomy, but they say something about home.
By the way if you ever happen upon Meadville in your travels, definitely take time to visit Greendale Cemetery. You’ll recognize it by the large stone and iron gate at the east end of Randolph Street. I’m not sure how one would happen upon Meadville, but stranger things have occurred.
My sister-in-law recently wrote a cool, “Meadville Pride” piece for her blog. Check it out here.
Or read more about Meadville here on Wikipedia.