Playful, Fun Little-known Facts About Baltimore

Baltimore, a city of crab cakes, rowhouses, and a quirky charm all its own. It’s known for its Inner Harbor and connection to maritime history, but this East Coast gem holds plenty of surprises. Let’s uncover some of Baltimore’s hidden secrets:

  1. The Birthplace of the “Star-Spangled Banner”: Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to our national anthem while witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
  2. Home of the Screened-In Porch: Baltimore’s rowhouses were among the first to adopt the now-iconic screened-in porch, offering respite from summer heat.
  3. Edgar Allan Poe’s Resting Place: The master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, lived in Baltimore and is buried in Westminster Hall and Burying Ground.
  4. First Dental School: The world’s first dental college, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, was founded here in 1840.
  5. Ouija Board Origins: William Fuld, who mass-produced the Ouija board, had his factory in Baltimore. It’s debated whether the board was created there.
  6. Hairspray, Hon: Baltimore was the inspiration for John Waters’ iconic film “Hairspray”, a celebration of the city’s unique beehive-loving culture.
  7. Home of the Domino Sugar Factory: The massive Domino Sugar sign is a Baltimore waterfront landmark, and the factory is an important part of the city’s industrial past.
  8. Arabbers: These horse-drawn cart vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables are a unique and longstanding tradition in Baltimore.
  9. The “Battle Monument”: Baltimore’s first public monument wasn’t built for a person, but to commemorate a battle from the War of 1812.
  10. Birthplace of the B&O Railroad: The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, one of the oldest railroads in the US, began right here.
  11. The Wire’s Gritty Realism: The acclaimed TV series “The Wire” offered a raw, street-level look at Baltimore’s social and political complexities.
  12. Formstone Fanaticism: Formstone, a faux-stone siding, is strangely beloved in Baltimore, adding a distinct texture to many older homes.
  13. Duckpin Bowling: This miniature bowling variation, using smaller balls and pins, is thought to have originated in Baltimore.
  14. It’s “Balmer”, Hon: You’ll hear a unique pronunciation of the name from locals – think “Bal-mer-ese” with a little hon’ thrown in for good measure.
  15. National Bohemian’s One-Eyed Mascot: The local beer affectionately known as “Natty Boh” features a winking, one-eyed gent on its label.

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