Scranton jumped into the national spotlight when hometown boy, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States. And though Biden has always shared fond childhood memories of the northeast Pennsylvania city, it's the popular TV show The Office, that truly made Scranton an internationally-known destination. Here are five fun facts you didn't know about the Electric City.
Editor's note: Please check the latest travel restrictions before planning any trip and always follow government advice.
1. Scranton! What?! The Electric City!
Scranton was one of the first cities in the country to use electricity. Electric lights were introduced in 1880 at the Dickinson Manufacturing company. Six years later, Scranton was the first city to use electric streetcars.
2. Did you hear that?
Once a 1908 train station, the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel is now a beautiful Renaissance-style hotel with marble columns and a stunning Tiffany stained-glass ceiling. Despite its beauty and charm, some guests have claimed to have seen spirits walking around the hotel, heard voices or experienced other unexplained paranormal activity. But these kinds of stories are typical for a century’s old hotel.
3. Walk it out
Though The Office was actually shot in California, footage of the city and references to actual sites and locations were often used in the show. True fans can take The Office Self-Guided Walking Tour which includes destinations like the Steamtown National Historic Site, Pizza by Pappas and the Electric City Trolley Museum.
Promoted as the only museum devoted to the great magician, the Harry Houdini Museum has been in operation in Scranton since the 1980s. Aside from magic shows and tours, the Houdini Museum holds paranormal events like the “Houdini Seance” which took place (over Zoom) on Oct. 21, 2020.
5. Trains, trains and (more trains)
It all started with a simple backyard train set. One, that if you live in the Scranton area and are a fan of the WNEP news station, know is a hot-button topic for residents. TV host and comedian, John Oliver dipped his toe into the fray during a segment of HBO’s Last Week Tonight.
Not everyone appreciated the humor so to make things right, Oliver sent the news station an “almost irresponsibly large” 18-by-16 foot train set. Too big for the news station’s back yard, the train set was donated to the Electric City Trolley Museum and all was forgiven.
Besides President-elect Joe Biden (and Michael Scott), a few other notable names from Scranton include:
Hugh E. Rodham, Hillary Clinton’s dad
Lauren Weisberger, author, Devil Wears Prada
Charles Sumner Woolworth, co-founder of Woolworth chain
Adam Rippon, American figure skater