Facts from Piqua

• The Atlas Underwear Company, one of seven major textile companies in Piqua during the 20th century, produced long johns for “doughboys” in World War I and flame retardant undergarments for astronauts in the 1960s.

• In 1963, the Piqua Nuclear Power Plant was one of the first municipally owned and operated nuclear power plants in the world.

• The Hartzell Propeller Company of Piqua designed and manufactured walnut propellers for the Wright Brothers Aircraft Company during World War I.

• Johnny Weissmuller, an Olympic Gold Medalist, modeled Piqua Hosiery swimsuits. The Piqua firm released him from his contract to enable him to star in his first Tarzan movie in 1932.

• Magician Harry Houdini performed in Piqua in approximately 1917. A locked truck containing the magician was dropped into the Great Miami River. Houdini escaped, however the truck remained behind, mired in the river bottom mud.

• In 1912, three candidates for President of the United States visited Piqua: William Howard Taft, Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Taft was the current President, Roosevelt was a former President and Wilson, the future President.

• The first automobile in Piqua was purchased by William Lorimer in 1900. This resulted in the city’s first auto accident in 1901 when Lorimer ran into the community’s second automobile.


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