Have Fun Facts About Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee’s roots as a beer-happy city trace back to the influx of German immigrants in the mid 19th century. They came seeking cheap land and refuge from a divided mother country—and they brought their superior brewing skills with them. By 1856, Milwaukee was home to more than two dozen breweries, including Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, and, of course, Miller.
The modern typewriter—that is, the first version to be called a “the typewriter” and to use the QWERTY key setup—was invented in Milwaukee. So large and unwieldy was it that one of the developers, a former newspaper editor named Christopher Latham Sholes, called it “a cross between a piano and a kitchen table.”
Prohibition had a profound effect on Milwaukee’s breweries. To stay afloat, many of them sold alternative products like soda, non-alcoholic beer, candy bars, and even snowplows.
In 1901, at the age of 21, mechanical engineer William Harley finished his design for a bicycle outfitted with a single-cylinder engine. He joined with his childhood friend Arthur Davidson, and together the two began turning out motorcycles inside a 10-by-15-foot shed on the Davidson family property in Milwaukee. Several years later, Harley would patent the first two-cylinder motorcycle engine, and proceed to leave his competitors in the dust. Today, Harley-Davidson maintains a museum and an 849,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Milwaukee, where workers craft the transmissions and engines that go into each motorcycle.
Have you ever wondered where to find the world’s most massive dinosaur skull? Try the Milwaukee Public Museum, where a 9-foot-by-8-foot Torosaurus skull, along with a partial skeleton, is on display.
One of the world’s largest collections of antique microphones is on display inside an electronics store on East National Street.