The first public demonstration of the electric light bulb was given by Thomas Edison in Menlo Park, New Jersey, but the first practical incandescent light bulb was invented by Lewis Howard Latimer, who was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, but lived in Indiana for a time. Latimer was also the first African American to be employed as an engineer by the U.S. Patent Office.

Delaware County, Indiana has a rich history that spans several centuries. It was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Delaware and Miami, before the arrival of European settlers. In the early 19th century, the area saw an influx of pioneers and became part of the Indiana Territory in 1800. The territorial government established Delaware County in 1827, and it was officially recognized as a county in 1828.

The county experienced rapid growth in the mid-19th century, fueled by the discovery of natural gas and the expansion of railroads. The discovery of natural gas in 1886 brought significant economic development and attracted a boom in industries, including glass manufacturing, ironworks, and petroleum refining. The gas boom also led to the creation of Muncie as the county seat in 1845, a city that would become an industrial powerhouse.

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Delaware County became known for its industrial might. Glass manufacturing in Muncie thrived, and the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company became an influential force in the industry. Additionally, the county was known for its iron and steel production, along with manufacturing for automobiles, farm equipment, and furniture. The county's industrial success contributed to population growth and prosperity during this time.

In the latter half of the 20th century, like many industrialized regions, Delaware County experienced economic challenges. The decline of manufacturing and the closure of factories resulted in job losses and population decline. However, the county has since made efforts to diversify its economy, focusing on education, healthcare, and technology sectors. Today, Delaware County is home to Ball State University, a leading educational institution, and has seen a revitalization of its downtown areas, emphasizing arts and culture.

  • 1827 - Delaware County is established
  • 1833 - Muncie, the county seat, is founded
  • 1865 - Ball State University is established in Muncie
  • 1888 - Natural gas is discovered in the county, leading to rapid industrial growth
  • 1920 - The Ku Klux Klan gains significant influence in the county
  • 1965 - The Delaware County Historical Society is founded
  • 1980 - Muncie becomes the host of the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual festival
  • 2007 - The David Owsley Museum of Art opens at Ball State University