DiscoverMilwaukee2017 - page 98

Interesting things about
Milwaukee . . .
Like any metropolitan area, Milwaukee has its
own terminology that can be hard for out-of-
towners to understand. Below are some terms
you’re likely to hear:
In any other state, a brat is a
sassy, upstart kid. In
Wisconsin, it’s a food of almost religious stature.
Short for bratwurst, this spicy
German sausage
can be found at almost any picnic or public
event. Backyard chefs like to boil the brats in
beer and onions prior to browning them on the
grill to create the Wisconsin delicacy.
A drinking fountain
. Specifically it refers to
drinking fountains that feature a stream of
water in the middle that bubbles upward. In
Wisconsin, however, the term is frequently used
for any drinking fountain.
Many consider this a derogatory
name for the state’s residents, but many
are proud to wear
foam-rubber cheese
on their heads to celebrate our dairy heritage
at sporting events.
This is probably the most frequently used phrase
in Wisconsin and is typically tacked onto the end
of a sentence as a sort of “verbal period” to let
listeners know when a speaker is finished talking.
“Eh” can be used in any kind of sentence,
regardless of whether it is a statement, question
or a cry for help.
If you want to sound like a
, just tag an “eh” on the end of your
sentence. People will think your ancestors
journeyed here with Father Marquette. Pretty
simple, eh?
Fish Fries
Other cities like their seafood, but perhaps no
region in the nation is more fond of its fish fries.
A Friday night staple
in Milwaukee, fish fries are
arguably the area’s dominant cuisine. Whether
beer-battered or baked, offered with French
fries or potato pancakes, and served in bars or
fancy restaurants, fish fries require that you eat
early or get a reservation.
The Forecasting
Gas Light
Sitting on top of the
former Wisconsin Gas
Company (626 E.
Wisconsin Ave.) in downtown Milwaukee is a
“flame” that forecasts the coming weather
. Gold
means it will get colder, red means it will get
warmer and blue means the weather will stay
the same. A flashing light means precipitation is
on the way, so grab a hat or an umbrella.
Trading Stamps
In the 1890s, Schuster’s Department Store in
Milwaukee started issuing blue stamps to
customers, who saved them and posted them in
booklets. The booklets could then be redeemed
for cash. Borrowed from a British company, the
idea went national later in the decade when
Sperry & Hutchinson Co. began issuing its own
stamps in a different shade – S&H Green
The Workable Typewriter
During the 1850s and
1860s many inventors
tried to produce a workable
typewriter, but none
succeeded until 1867, when
Milwaukee’s Christopher
Latham Sholes and
inventors Carlos Glidden and
Samuel W. Soule patented a writing machine.
Their invention, however, didn’t take off until
1873, when the trio contracted with E.
Remington & Sons, which until then just made
rifles and sewing machines (what a
“Bud” Selig (1934 - )
Nationally known as the 9th Commissioner of
Baseball, Allan “Bud” Selig is known locally as
the man who kept
here in 1970. During
his tenure as commissioner, his office was
located in Milwaukee even though the rest of the
league’s administrative operations were in New
Dan Jansen (1965 - )
A West Allis native, Dan Jansen is a
retired American speed skater,
best known for winning a gold
medal in world record time in his
final race (1000 meters) in the
1994 Winter Olympics
after falling in the 1988
Olympics in both the 500-meter and 1000-
meter races.
Les Paul (1915-2009)
One of the most important people in
the evolution of the electric guitar, Les
Paul was born in Waukesha and
became interested in music at age 8.
He had some success as a performer,
but his most famous
accomplishments were helping to
develop the
solid-body electric
and pioneering the use of
multi-track recording. After nearly dying in
a car crash in the late 1940s, Paul reportedly
told surgeons to set his shattered arm in such a
fashion that he could continue to play guitar.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
and biographer,
best known for his poems about Chicago and
writings about Abraham Lincoln, spent several
important years here, writing for newspapers
and, briefly, serving as secretary for Emil Seidel,
Milwaukee’s first Socialist mayor.
The Zucker Brothers
Milwaukee natives Jerry (1950- ) and David
Zucker (1947- ) are best known for their
in the popular spoof films
Naked Gun
From the Files of Police Squad
Naked Gun 2-1/2
; the
Smell of Fear
; and
Gun 33-1/3: The Final Insult
. Jerry produced
Best Friend’s Wedding
, while David produced
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
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