What happened 150 years ago?

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In 1868, our story began.

After a handful of German immigrants founded the town of Frankenmuth, they forged an alliance that would eventually become Frankenmuth Insurance – now one of the industry’s most sound and secure carriers.

But you see, things were different back then. Much different. When disaster struck, people couldn’t just call their insurance agent to file a claim. Instead, they relied on their community in a wonderfully unique way.

Pledging to support their neighbors when they needed it most, each member of this mutual alliance listed all the things they wanted to insure. And when a member had a loss, the others contributed to cover the cost – knowing they would be supported in the same way.

Within 10 years, the Deutschen Frankenmuther Unterstützungs-Verein (German Frankenmuth Aid Association) had nearly 500 members, and it was insuring property worth about a half-million dollars.

What else was happening in the world? To help celebrate our 150th anniversary, we’re sharing fun facts from 1868 – the year Frankenmuth Insurance was founded.

  • Thomas Edison applied for his first patent: the electric vote recorder.
  • The Impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson began – who was later acquitted by one vote.
  • Golf’s first-ever hole-in-one happened on a course in Scotland.
  • Memorial Day was observed for the first time.
  • Florence Foster Jenkins, American socialite and amateur opera soprano, was born July 19.
  • The world’s first traffic lights were installed outside of the Palace of Westminster in London.
  • President Andrew Johnson passed a law that said government workers would work an eight-hour day.
  • The first-ever American amateur track and field meet was held in New York City.
  • Helium was detected for the first time.
  • Louisa May Alcott published “Little Women.”
  • Carlos Glidden and Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for their invention of the first commercially successful typewriter.
  • A Hawaiian set the record for the highest wave ever surfed — a 50-foot tidal wave.
  • The opera “Hamlet” premiered for the first time in Paris.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell founded the first medical college for women. The school was called The Woman’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary.
  • Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron patented the first methods of color photography.
  • Ulysses S. Grant won the presidential election, beating out New York Governor Horatio Seymour to become our 18th president.
  • In San Francisco, a baseball game was played in an enclosed field for the first time.
  • Jean-Martin Charcot, a professor at the University of Paris, was the first to diagnose multiple sclerosis.
  • The refrigerated vehicle was patented by William Davis, a fish dealer in Detroit.
  • A standard uniform was approved for U.S. postal carriers. (Ironically enough, this happened on Halloween.)
  • Parade floats were introduced for the first time in the U.S. at the Mardi Gras Parade in Mobile, Alabama.
  • Scott Joplin, famous ragtime composer and pianist, was born.
  • A French geologist (Louis Lartet) discovered the first identified skeletons of early modern humans.

Want more information about our 150 years? Read our blog: We’re celebrating our 150th birthday this year!