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New River Tour Showcases Pittsburgh's Innovation History

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Taking a look at the sights of Pittsburgh from the three rivers is nothing new, but now there's a new way to see them.

The new river tour, "Pittsburgh 101: Intro to Innovation," takes the non-profit group River of Steel's "Explorer" vessel back to Pittsburgh's past and into her future.

"Explorer" has been around for decades, taking school kids on educational river tours, according to the Allegheny Conference's Bill Flanagan, who is also vice-chairman of Rivers of Steel. "They go out and do experiments, there are labs on board. They have an opportunity to get on the rivers and understand what's in the rivers."

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The new tour will be open to people of all ages who want to learn about the history of innovation in Pittsburgh going back 150 years. For example, the tour will cruise past old steel towns where innovation is taking those communities into the future. It will also highlight how the city's rivers and skies got cleaner.

"So our industrial history," said Flanagan. "The technological history and the innovation in the environment that has let us clean up the rivers and clean up our smoky skies."

While boating past downtown, tour guides will also talk about some of the city's major companies going all the way back to George Westinghouse and Thomas Mellon, who built the city starting in the 1800s and are part of the dynamic city Pittsburgh is today.

Tours depart from the Rivers of Steel docks on the Ohio adjacent to the Carnegie Science Center. They're offered Thursday and Friday at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Private and group tours are also available.

Visit to find out more about how to buy tickets.

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