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14 October 2008

250 Quiz and Answers

Did You Know This About Pittsburgh?
Monday, October 13, 2008

1. Name the oldest building still standing in Pittsburgh.
Answer: Block House in Point State Park

2. Which Pittsburgher became a celebrity when she beat by eight days the 80-day around-the-world journey by Jules Verne's fictional hero Phileas Fogg?
Answer: Nellie Bly

3. There are sculptures of a reptile on the George Westinghouse Memorial fountain in Schenley Park. What is it, how many are there, and why are they part of the memorial?
Answer: 12 turtles. Why? Because Turtle Creek Valley was the location of his two main businesses: Westinghouse Electric Corp. (Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. at the time) and Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Any answer referencing his businesses in Turtle Creek was accepted.
Bonus: Name the sculptor who did this bronze and what other more famous sculpture did he create in the nation's capital?
Bonus answer: Daniel Chester French, the Lincoln Memorial

4. Where is Andy Warhol buried and what has been mysteriously left on his grave every month since he died on Feb. 22, 1987?
Answer: St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, Bethel Park. Can of tomato soup and pocketful of change

5. What is the last line on the plaque on an Oakland sidewalk that marks the spot where Bill Mazeroski's homer cleared the wall of Forbes Field in game seven of the 1960 World Series?
Answer: Yankees by a score of 10-9.

6. Where is the cloud factory and who named it that?
Answer: Junction Hollow behind Carnegie Museum; Michael Chabon in "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh"

7. Name the first automobile tunnel built in the country.
Answer: Liberty Tunnel

8. This had its beginnings as a trolley park in the 1890s to promote streetcar ridership.
Answer: Kennywood Park

9. The floors of this Pittsburgh building are the exact size of an acre.
Answer: U.S. Steel Tower, Downtown

10. Whose picture is on Henry Clay Frick's personal checks and why?
Answer: His daughter Martha, who died as a small child. He was devastated over her death.

11. What event in the city was heard by Adm. Richard E. Byrd's Expedition in Antarctica in 1929. What is significant about this?
Answer: Easter Sunday service of Shadyside Presbyterian Church broadcast by the nation's first radio station, KDKA

12. What Pittsburgh company made the television camera that brought us the images of Neil Armstrong taking the first steps on the moon in 1969?
Answer: Westinghouse

13. The original bricks from Duquesne Gardens are now part of the walls of what Oakland restaurant?
Answer: Duranti's
Bonus: What was the name of Pittsburgh's first hockey team?
Answer: Pirates

14. Whose ashes are buried in Allegheny Observatory?
Answer: All of the above. James E. Keeler, first director of the original Allegheny Observatory who discovered that Saturn's rings were not solid but made of particles; his wife Cora Matthews Keller and his 25-year-old son, Henry. Also lens maker John Brashear and his wife, Phoebe.

15. Before the H.J. Heinz Co. turned on its famous neon ketchup bottle sign on its (now former. North Side headquarters in 1995, there had been another sign on the roof of the building that was installed at the turn of the 20th century. What was it?
Answer: The number 57
2 bonus questions: How long does it take the ketchup bottle (now on the side of the Sen. John Heinz History Center. to fill up the Heinz logo each time? If the 17-foot bottle was real, how many gallons of ketchup would it hold?
Answer: 30 seconds refill and 800 gallons

16. Name the mystery writer who lived on Pittsburgh's North Side and coined the phrase "The butler did it!"
Answer: Mary Roberts Rinehart

17. Where is the tallest fountain in America?
Answer: Fountain at the Point had been referenced in recent PG articles as being the tallest (maybe at the time it was built in the 1950s), but our clever readers found that the tallest fountain in America now is the Gateway Geyser at 630 feet on the Mississippi in East St. Louis, directly across from the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Many readers also referenced Fountain Hills, Ariz., which has a fountain that reaches 562 feet. This question and bonus question are thrown out.
Bonus: Where does the water come from?
Answer: (for the Point fountain) The water comes from a subterranean river course that flowed from a glacier that covered much of the northern part of North America some 70,000 years ago, 54 feet below the surface.

18. What's the farthest south that Stephen Foster ever got in his life?
Answer: New Orleans

19. How many of August Wilson's plays of his epic Pittsburgh cycle were set in the Hill District?
Answer: 9 of the 10 plays of his epic Pittsburgh Cycle. "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" was set in Chicago.
Bonus: What did his family call him in his early years?
Answer: Freddy. He was born Frederick August Kittel on April 27, 1945.

20. What pediatrician on staff at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine during the 1950s became a household name?
Answer: Pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock. Many people answered Dr. Jonas Salk, who discovered the polio vaccine. Salk was considered an immunologist and virologist, although Time magazine in its Top 100 -- the most important people of the 20th century -- called Salk a microbiologist.

21. The first street railway in the city, built in 1859, went to what community?
Answer: Lawrenceville

22. Where is the Christopher A. Smith Walking Trail and what can you see from it?
Answer: The Christopher A. Smith Walking Trail, named for a former Pittsburgh city councilman, goes around the perimeter of Herron Hill reservoir in the Hill District; a magnificent 360-panorama of the city of Pittsburgh.

23. How much did the first ride cost on the Ferris Wheel built by Pittsburgher George Ferris?
Answer: 50 cents at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893
Bonus: It was built to outshine what structure?
Answer: Eiffel Tower, the centerpiece of the 1889 Paris exhibition

24. How did Charles Dickens arrive in Pittsburgh in 1842?
Answer: Canal boat

25. When was the first attempt made to merge Pittsburgh and Allegheny and when did the two cities actually merge?
Answer: 1853-54 and 1907

26. Which former Pennsylvania governor was born in Munhall?
Answer: Tom Ridge in 1945

27. The immaculate reception made by Franco Harris was deflected from a pass intended for what Steeler?
Answer: John "Frenchy" Fuqua is the answer we were looking for, which most respondents gave, including the winner of the quiz. Those who found their answer on the Web's Wikipedia may have answered Barry Pearson. Coach Chuck Noll called a pass play intended for receiver Pearson, an NFL rookie playing in his first game, but quarterback Terry Bradshaw could not find him on the field and he threw the pass toward Fuqua. Although this was a stretch, both answers were accepted.

28. Name four Pittsburghers who have gone into space.
Answer: James Irwin, Jay Apt, Mike Fincke and Terry Hart

29. Duke Ellington's signature song was the jazz classic "Take the A Train." Who wrote it?
Answer: Billy Strayhorn

30. The beginnings of what major movie studio had its roots in Western Pennsylvania?
Answer: Warner Brothers Studios (New Castle)

31. What indispensable part of Lawrence Welk's television show was invented in Pittsburgh?
Answer: The bubble machine

32. The St. Patrick's Day flood of 1936 crested at what level?
Answer: 46.4 feet

33. This Pittsburgher has an asteroid named after him.
Answer: Two correct answers: c. Fred Rogers (asteroid called Mr. Rogers) d. Myron Cope

34. Name at least two buildings named for the Pittsburgh mayor who led Renaissance I.
Answer: Any two of these: David L. Lawrence Convention Center; David Lawrence Hall on Pitt campus; Lawrence Hall at Point Park University; Lawrence Hall in the Governor's Quad of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

35. What's the name of the river excursion boat considered the largest river pleasure boat in the world in 1947 that exploded next to the Mon Wharf, killing 19 people.
Answer: Island Queen

36. Although it's more folklore than truth, name the famous comedian who reportedly proposed to his wife in the William Penn Hotel?
Answer: Bob Hope

37. The first stagecoach service between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in 1804 took how many days?
Answer: 6 days

38. In what town did Fred Rogers first create "Misterogers"(sic.?
Answer: Toronto
Bonus: Who knitted his sweater that is now in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and what color is it?
Answer: His mother, red

39. What style of cooking a steak, listed on some menus across the country, is said to have originated with local steelworkers cooking meat on hot metal at the mills?
Answer: Pittsburgh rare, or black and blue

40. How much money did Andrew Carnegie give away in his lifetime?
Answer: $350 million

41. Who came up with the phrase "One for the Thumb?"
Answer: Jack Wolf of O'Hara in spring 1980. He said he woke up one morning in the spring of 1980 and the phrase "One For the Thumb in '81" popped into his head. He partnered with five friends to market the slogan and eventually Joe Greene became the official spokesman for the campaign. Most readers answered this question incorrectly with Joe Greene or Myron Cope.

42. What was the name of the first elephant on display at the original Highland Park Zoo when it opened?
Answer: Gusky

43. This dance instructor and entertainer who met his future wife when he lived on Kensington Street was the original boy next door that spurred the song "The Boy Next Door" sung by Judy Garland in "Meet Me in St. Louis."
Answer: Fred Kelly, Gene Kelly's brother, who married his next-door childhood sweetheart Dorothy Greenwalt

44. Pirates fans have used what to place a hex on opponents.
Answer: Green Weenie
Bonus: Who came up with the gimmick?
Answer: Bob Prince

45. How many families were displaced in the Great Fire of 1845?
Answer: 2,000. This question also is thrown out as different historical accounts gave different numbers.

46. This former Los Angeles cop based most of his best-selling crime novels and real-life accounts in California, England and Philadelphia but he was born in East Pittsburgh.
Answer: Joseph Wambaugh

47. How many smokestacks were preserved from the former Homestead Works?
Answer: 12

48. The first small field trial to test Jonas Salk's polio vaccine was held at what school?
Answer: Arsenal Elementary in Lawrenceville

49. The name of this tiny street in Pittsburgh's East End honors Andrew Carnegie's birthplace. What's the name and where is it?
Answer: Streets called Dunfermline, Carnegie's birthplace in Scotland, are in Point Breeze and Homewood. Either place accepted.

50. What fast-food icon was invented in Uniontown and by whom?
Answer: Big Mac by Jim "MJ" Delligatti

Sources for answers: "Pittsburgh Born Pittsburgh Bred," by C. Prentiss Orr, Abby Mendelson and Tripp Clarke for the Heinz History Center; "Points in Time: Building a Life in Western Pennsylvania" by Paul Roberts; "Pittsburgh The Story of An American City" by Stefan Lorant; Center for American Music, Smithsonian Natural Museum of American History; Western Pennsylvania History quarterly magazine by the Sen. John Heinz History Center (Fall 2007); The New York Times, Web sources, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stories and Post-Gazette research.

First published on October 12, 2008 at 8:34 pm

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