The word "skyscraper" originally was a nautical term referring to a small triangular sail set above the skysail on a sailing ship. The term was first applied to buildings of steel framed construction of at least 10 stories in the late 19th century, a result of public amazement at the tall buildings being built in major cities like Chicago, New York City, Detroit, and St. Louis. The first steel frame skyscraper was the Home Insurance Building built in Chicago, Illinois in 1885. Some point to New York's seven floor Equitable Life Assurance Building built in 1870 and it was arguably the first office building built using a kind of skeletal frame but it depends on what factors are chosen and even the scholars making the argument find it academic.

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