Matthew J. Prigge

Matthew J. Prigge is a freelance author and historian from Milwaukee. He is the author of four books, including the forthcoming Damn The Old Tinderbox: The Gilded Age Fire that Shocked America. He wrote two weekly blogs for on topics of local history and created the What Made Milwaukee Famous radio series for WMSE radio 91.7.

Prigge is currently working on his fifth book and engaging in a series of cozy events to promote Milwaukee Mayhem: Murder and Mystery in the Cream City's First Century and Outlaws, Rebels, & Vixens: Motion Picture Censorship in Milwaukee, 1914-1971. In the summers, he leads sightseeing tours for Milwaukee Boat Line. He lives with his wife and their three occasionally troublesome pet rats on Milwaukee's East Side. Follow him on Twitter at @mjpmke or visit his website at

Will Downtown Milwaukee once again see a flourishing “red-light district”? A strip club has recently won a lawsuit against the city and obtained a license to begin operation. more

Jan 23, 2018 4:16 PM News Features

Local sports fans should be excited for Back Yard to Big Leagues: Milwaukee’s Sports and Recreation History, the just-opened exhibit at the Milwaukee County Historical Society more

Jan 22, 2018 10:53 AM What Made Milwaukee Famous

A look back at some of the lesser-known big league teams of Wisconsin. more

Jan 15, 2018 12:52 PM What Made Milwaukee Famous

The bebop situation came to a head in November 1950, when the Milwaukee archdiocese threatened to expel any student who refused to give up the bebop look. more

Jan 8, 2018 9:53 AM What Made Milwaukee Famous

Real estate developer Marvin Fishman's attempt to bring an AFL team to Milwaukee. more

Jan 2, 2018 9:32 AM What Made Milwaukee Famous

Pinball was once thought to be so threatening to young people that it was the focus of a two-decade battle by city authorities to minimize its wicked influence. more

Dec 18, 2017 12:31 PM What Made Milwaukee Famous

For two seasons in the early 1940s, the Milwaukee area was home to a pro football team: the Milwaukee Chiefs of the short-lived American Football League. more

Dec 11, 2017 9:21 AM What Made Milwaukee Famous

The quake had only lasted about 4/10 of a second. It registered a “VII,” or “Very Strong” on the Mercalli intensity scale, which translates to a magnitude in the high fives on the Richter scale. more

Dec 4, 2017 10:17 AM What Made Milwaukee Famous

Milwaukee is unique for its large number of still-operating movie theaters from the golden era of cinema. more

Sep 19, 2017 4:24 PM News Features 1 Comments

After the 1983 season proved to be a huge letdown for theBrewers, 1984 was seen as a year of possibility. For the first time in ahalf-decade, an influx of young talent mixed the club’s established veterans. Teamofficials saw the season as a .. more

Aug 28, 2017 4:07 PM Brew Crew Confidential

On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 26, 1922, the handful of radio owners in Milwaukee could have set their dials to 360 and heard the very first commercial radio broadcast in city history. “This is WAAK," the maiden broadcast declared in.. more

Aug 21, 2017 6:33 PM What Made Milwaukee Famous

The future looks bright for the Brewers right now, thanks inlarge part to a number of breakout seasons from players who were not exactlyexpected to break out. For players like Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson and TravisShaw, the expectations wil.. more

Aug 21, 2017 5:42 PM Brew Crew Confidential 1 Comments

August 25, 26 and 27, is “Player’s Weekend" across Major League Baseball. The main attraction of Player’s Weekend will be the special uniforms worn by players, each of which will feature a nickname or other “statement" on the back ... more

Aug 14, 2017 3:40 PM Brew Crew Confidential

As work progresses on the new Milwaukee streetcar, it is worth remembering that Milwaukee’s very first streetcar began shuttling people around the city some 157 years ago. The very first lines were drawn by horsesand, given the various remin.. more

Aug 14, 2017 3:10 PM What Made Milwaukee Famous

This summer, a commercial fisherman pulled a live, eight-pound silver carp from the Calumet River near Chicago; a warning sign that invasive species of Asian carp might be making their way into Lake Michigan. more

Aug 8, 2017 4:24 PM News Features 3 Comments

This past Sunday, as Jimmy Nelson was finishing up his(ultimately wasted) eight-inning gem against the Rays, Disciples of Ueckerblogger Ryan Topp asked Twitter, “Jimmy Nelson is having the best season for a #Brewersstarter since when? [Y.. more

Aug 8, 2017 2:55 PM Brew Crew Confidential 1 Comments

Before the epochal Stonewall Inn raid of 1969 ushered in the modern era of the Gay Rights Movement, accounts of LGBTQ activity in Milwaukee are scattered. Cases of women dressing and living as men (,News Features more

Aug 1, 2017 3:30 PM News Features

Milwaukee’s own Bud Selig was inducted in the NationalBaseball Hall of Fame this past weekend, largely for his contributions to thegame as commissioner. Over the past week, a million stories have been toldabout Selig, some complimentary, oth.. more

Jul 31, 2017 4:12 PM Brew Crew Confidential

The 2017 Stihl Timbersports U.S. professional and collegiatechampionships will be take place this weekend at Henry Maier Festival Park as apart of this year’s Germanfest. Forty top timbersports competitors from acrossthe country will par.. more

Jul 27, 2017 7:41 PM Around MKE

There has been a lot of pollution dumped into Lake Michiganover the years, but one surprising such incident occurred in 1975, when one ofthe worst oil spills to ever occur on the Great Lakes fouled a huge stretch ofwater just off the sho.. more

Jul 24, 2017 3:15 PM What Made Milwaukee Famous