What Does the H in Pittsburgh Mean?

By Emma Gielata

Pittsburgh may be one of the country’s most misspelled cities. Seriously. Ask any Pittsburgher, and I’m sure he or she can recount a recent situation where they corrected someone. It’s the H that troubles people. And for good reason. Pittsburgh, the Steel City, The Burgh, The City of Bridges, is one of only a few U.S. cities or towns to be spelled with an “h” at the end of a burg suffix.

It wasn’t always this way. In 1891, we lost the “h” thanks to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which asked cities to standardize by dropping it. It wasn’t until July 19, 1911 that the name was restored after much contention.

I grew up in the greater Pittsburgh area, and after a few awesome years in New England, where I joined the Matter team, I boomeranged back. So, the “h” comes naturally to me.

I’m thrilled that Matter has chosen to open its sixth office in Pittsburgh. Given this news, I think it’s time to provide a look at what the “h” in Pittsburgh means to me.



There’s a lot to be said about Pittsburgh’s history. Heck! We have an entire museum devoted to it. From the late 19thcentury through the mid-20thcenturies, Pittsburgh was responsible for many of the raw materials that powered the American economy. But, a lot has changed since then. Here are some other stats that make it unique:

  • The first cable suspension bridge, the Monongahela Bridge, was created in 1846. It’s not surprising that we have a first for bridges, since Pittsburgh has 446 of them.
  • The first commercial radio signal was transmitted on Nov. 2, 1920 signifying the birth of the first commercial radio station, KDKA. The station is still transmitting and popular today.
  • Carnegie Mellon University had the first robotics department of any university, launching in 1979. The department continues to deploy talent and technologies in robotics, and the industry has become a major growth driver for the city. More on that later.
  • Speaking of Carnegie Mellon, the smiley face emoticon 🙂 was created by professor Scott Fahlman.



Pittsburgh has always been a burgeoning hub for Healthcare. From the staples of UPMC and Highmark to growing organizations like Net Health and TeleTracking, we’ve always been known in this industry.

It’s exciting to see that while the foothold remains strong in healthcare, our expertise is growing in other sectors as well. The city is emerging as a vibrant tech hub, and it’s taking hold in several areas including robotics, software and AI.



Pittsburghers have a lot of heart. You see our passion and commitment echoed in a lot throughout the city. We love our sports teams. You’ll find us out there in sun, snow, sleet or rain, cheering them on. Don’t believe me? Take a walk down Penn Ave. in the Strip District on a Steeler Sunday, and you’ll feel the city’s heartbeat.

We come together to support our local businesses. The Pittsburgh restaurant scene is growing, and the city is quickly becoming a foodie paradise. Supporting local chefs and their endeavors is a must AND delicious.

The local colleges and universities continue to make us proud. We have some stellar higher education institutions in our region and they are consistently introducing new talent, services and technologies that we all benefit from.

There really is no lack of heart in Pittsburgh. This was on full display following the devastating tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue. It was remarkable to see the city come together to support our brothers and sisters in Squirrel Hill. We remain stronger than hate and our heart is what bonds us and continues to push us past this disturbing event.



Pittsburgh was the home of icons like Fred Rogers, Christina Aguilera, Andrew Carnegie, Gene Kelley and Andy Warhol.

It’s also the city that I’ve called home for most of my life. It’s helped to make me who I am, and I’m so excited that it’s now the home of Matter’s sixth and newest office.

Our office, in Pittsburgh’s iconic Strip District is a perfect location for us. The area is in a time of transition, and while it still is a melting pot of foods from around the world, it’s becoming home to a melting pot of tech companies as well.

Pittsburgh continues to evolve and presents great opportunity for the Matter team, and we’re all in and ready for the ride. Even better, we’re looking for people to join us! If you’re looking to elevate your brand and want to learn more about Matter’s services, simply fill out this form and we’ll contact you.

We’re also looking for great talent to join our team. Click here to check out open positions and be sure to tell us what the “h” means to you when you reach out.