Greetings, Akronites! Have you ever wondered what secrets does the beautiful city of Akron holds? We surfed the internet, searched for archives, and looked into files to inform you of these unique facts of Akron that not everyone knows about. You may already know some of them. However, we believe some others will just surprise you as much as they surprised us. So, here are our top five fun facts that everybody should know.
1. Akron and Marbles
Did you know the city of Akron pioneered the American toy industry when in 1884, Samuel C. Dyke automated his factory? Well, we didn’t. Prior to this event, toy marbles had been around for thousands of years. However, they were laborious and costly to produce as the workers manufacture the marbles by hand. Yes, that’s right, one marble at a time. Imagine! Then, enter our Akronite hero, Dyke, who revolutionized the marble-making industry and mass-produced marbles for the first time with the machine he invented. Toy marbles became so common that children began calling them “_commies_.”
2. The Home of the Quaker Oatmeal Cereal Company
Well, toy marbles are not just the only great thing Akronites invented. The Quaker Oatmeal was born here in Akron. Well, you probably knew about this, as we have Quaker Square— which was the original factory of the breakfast we all know and love. As you might already know, this place still has the former mill, factory, and silos intact. Sadly, they had to leave us in 1970. Luckily, the local government has officially designated this place as a historical site, as it was registered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
3. The Birthplace Alcoholics Anonymous
Did you know that Alcoholics Anonymous was initiated in Akron? It was first conceived in 1935 by a pair of local hopeless alcoholics, stockbroker Bill Wilson and surgeon Dr. Bob Smith, in the home of non-alcoholic Henrietta Seiberling, the Gate Lodge of the Stan Hywet Estate.
4. Home to the Unbeaten Yo-yo champion
That’s right, First Lady Of Yo Linda Lorenz Sengpiel, who lived undefeated until her death on April 13, 2001, was an Akronite. She offered $100,000 to anyone who could demonstrate a similar level of skill to hers. No one could come even close, at least during her lifetime. What a legend!
5. Home to the First Police Car
That’s also correct. The first police wagon in the U.S. patrolled Akron in 1899. Guess what its first assignment was? It was to pick up a drunk man— Imagine that! This first police car was manufactured by the Collins Buddy Company for $2,400 ($65,000 in today’s money) and designed by mechanical engineer Frank Loomis. It was powered by two 4hp electric motors. The vehicle had a top speed of 18 mph and a range of 30 miles with the batteries fully charged. The wagon was fitted with electric headlights, a gong, and a cell for prisoners. Officer Louis Mueller Sr. was its first operator, and it had seating space for 12 people.