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Unconventional Facts About Milwaukee

By The Milwaukee Press Club  

The typewriter was invented here

The first “practical” typewriter was designed by Christopher Latham Sholes in Milwaukee in 1867. It was later used as the prototype for the first Remington model to be sold to a commercial market and included the QWERTY keyboard set up still used today. Source

It’s home to a major medicated lip balm brand.

Cream City’s cold winter season makes lip balm a necessity. It’s also home to the world-famous Carmex brand. Alfred Woelbing started mixing his classic medicated lip balm to combat cold sores from his Milwaukee kitchen in 1937. Today, more than one billion jars have been sold around the world. Source

It’s the City of Festivals. 

Paris has lights — Milwaukee is better known as the City of Festivals. So long as beer, food, and music are involved, not even freezing winter temps can keep residents indoors. In fact, it’s estimated there are more than 60 street festivals, ethnic and cultural events, and music celebrations during summer alone — including the World’s Largest Music Festival — Summerfest.  

The oldest bowling alley in the U.S. lives here.

In the basement at Holler House, a tavern in the Lincoln neighborhood of Milwaukee, visitors will find the oldest sanctioned bowling alley lanes in the United States. The pins are still set by human pin-setters and the watering hole was recognized as a “Best Bar” by Esquire magazine. Source

It’s where the Blues Brothers chased the bad guys.

Milwaukee has had its share of small movie moments (Bridesmaids, Transformers 2, Tommy Boy, Mr. 3000), but nothing has quite compared to its one-minute long cameo in the 1980s cult film, Blues Brothers. The movie’s characters, played by Dan Akroyd and John Belushi are fleeing bad guys during a car chase on a never-finished portion of I-794. Source   

It was once home to the world’s Beer Barons

Milwaukee is perhaps best known for its storied history and love of beer. Throughout the 19th century, German-American immigrants laid the groundwork for building “Brew City” into a  central hub of world-class breweries, and became the homebase for a whole slew of Beer Barons, including the beer kings at companies like Pabst, Schlitz, and Blatz Beer.

It took some time to settle into its spelling

Before 1843, a map of Milwaukee may have conjured up spellings including “Miliwaki,” “Milwaukee,” “Milwaki,” “Milwalky,” Milwauk,” and “Milwaukie,” which was the preferred version under Postmaster Solomon Juneau (Sound familiar?). It wasn’t until Josiah Noonan took the post that it became the “Milwaukee” we all know today. Source

Supper Club

Milwaukee is not only known as the beer capital of the world, but it’s also known as the home of the Supper Club. There are nearly 250 operating in the state, including many that have carried on the dining tradition through generations. Sure you’ll find prime rib, steaks, Wiener schnitzel and other Midwest eats here, but most Milwakeeans opt for the classic Fish Fry — washed down with a Brandy Old Fashioned, of course.

Sports

If there is one thing that unites Milwaukeeans, it’s sports. Whether it’s sitting at a sports bar screaming “Go Packers;” rooting for the home team with the Milwaukee Brewers; sitting around the ice taking in the Admirals; high fiving strangers over a Bucks bucket at the Fiserv; or cheering on college or Little leagues; Milwaukeeans go crazy for good competition.   

Milwaukee’s Sacred Cat

The Milwaukee Press Club is the oldest continuously operating press club in North America. While many dignitaries have graced the club with their presence and bestowed their signatures (more than 1,200!), perhaps no other artifact is as revered as Anubis, the club’s Sacred Cat. The mummified feline first arrived in 1897 under mischievous circumstances and has been omnipresent ever since.  Source

Want to learn more fun facts about Milwaukee? Join the Milwaukee Press Club on January 30, 2020, as we celebrate the 174th City of Milwaukee Birthday Party. We’ll be toasting the people, places, and experiences that help make Milwaukee “unconventionally” the best place to be. Save your seat today.

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