The Extra-Long History of the Hot Dog

The Extra-Long History of the Hot Dog

The hot dog, a quintessential American summer grill food, has origins that may go back millennia.

Historians believe its beginnings can be traced to era of the notorious Roman emperor Nero, whose cook, Gaius, may have linked the first sausages. In ancient Rome, it was customary to starve pigs for one week before the slaughter. As the legend goes, Gaius was watching over his kitchen when he realized that one pig had been brought out fully roasted, but somehow not cleaned.

He stuck a knife into the belly to see if the roast was edible, and out popped the intestines: empty because of the starvation diet, and puffed from the heat. According to legend, Gaius exclaimed, “I have discovered something of great importance!” He stuffed the intestines with ground game meats mixed with spices and wheat—and the sausage was created.

READ MORE: How McDonald’s Beat Its Early Competition and Became an Icon of Fast Food

After that, the sausage traveled across Europe, making its way eventually to present-day Germany. The Germans adopted the sausage as their own, creating scores of different versions to be enjoyed with beer and kraut. In fact, two German towns vie to be the original birthplace of the modern hot dog. Frankfurt claims the frankfurter was invented there over 500 years ago, in 1484, eight years before Columbus set sail for America. But the people of Vienna (Wien, in German) say they are the true originators of the “wienerwurst.”

No matter which town might have originated this particular sausage, it’s generally agreed that German immigrants to New York were the first to sell wieners, from a pushcart, in the 1860s.

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The man most responsible for popularizing the hot dog in the United States was, however, neither German nor Austrian. His name was Nathan Handwerker, a Jewish immigrant from Poland. In 1915, Handwerker worked at a hot dog stand at Coney Island, where he made a whopping $11 a week slicing buns. The hardworking Handwerker lived entirely on hot dogs and slept on the kitchen floor for a year until he’d saved $300, enough to start a competing stand. He was a savvy businessman: Knowing his former boss charged 10 cents apiece for dogs, Handwerker charged only 5 cents. Customers flocked to him, his competitor went out of business, and Nathan’s Famous was born.

By the Depression, Nathan’s hot dogs were known throughout the United States. In fact, they were so prized as delicious, all-American eats that they were even served to royalty. When President Franklin Roosevelt hosted King George VI of England and his queen at a picnic in Hyde Park in 1939, first lady Eleanor decided to make grilled hot dogs part of the menu, a choice that received much press coverage at the time.

One month before the picnic, Mrs. Roosevelt mentioned the hubbub in her syndicated newspaper column. “So many people are worried that the dignity of our county will be imperiled by inviting royalty to a picnic, particularly a hot dog picnic!” Ultimately, the hot dogs proved to be a great hit: The king enjoyed them so much he asked for seconds.

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Hot dog

A hot dog [1] [2] (less commonly spelled hotdog [3] ) is a food consisting of a grilled or steamed sausage served in the slit of a partially sliced bun, [4] and much debate has centered around whether or not it can be considered a sandwich the term can also refer to the sausage itself. The sausage used is a wiener (Vienna sausage) or a frankfurter (Frankfurter Würstchen, also just called frank). The names of these sausages also commonly refer to their assembled dish. [5] Hot dog preparation and condiments vary worldwide. Typical condiments include mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, relish, and cheese sauce, [ citation needed ] and common garnishes include onions, sauerkraut, jalapeños, chili, grated cheese, coleslaw, bacon, and olives. [ citation needed ] Hot dog variants include the corn dog and pigs in a blanket. The hot dog's cultural traditions include the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

These types of sausages were culturally imported from Germany and became popular in the United States. It became a working-class street food in the U.S., sold at stands and carts. The hot dog became closely associated with baseball and American culture. Although particularly connected with New York City and its cuisine, the hot dog eventually became ubiquitous throughout the US during the 20th century. Its preparation varies regionally in the country, emerging as an important part of other regional cuisines, including Chicago street cuisine. [6] [7] [8]


So who invented the hot dog?

Let’s start with the humble sausage. Its origins can be traced back as early as 700 BCE, with its appearance in Homer’s Odyssey,but some historians believe the first sausage was not created until the 1st century CE. Legend has it that Emperor Nero’s cook, Gaius, stuck a knife into a roasted pig that had not been cleaned thoroughly, and the puffed, empty intestines fell out. He exclaimed at his discovery and tried filling the casing with ground meat and spices. Over the course of the following centuries, the sausage traveled across Europe, making its way to Germany, a country that came to adopt the wiener as its own. Today, Frankfurt and Vienna both lay claim to the creation of this contemporary German staple. But how did the hot dog get from Germany to the USA?

Many German immigrants came to the New World in the 1800s, bringing their culinary traditions with them. It is believed that the first hot dogs, called “dachshund sausages”, were sold by a German immigrant out of a food cart in New York in the 1860s – perhaps explaining how they acquired their canine name.

Around 1870, a German immigrant by the name of Charles Feltman opened the first hot dog stand on Coney Island. He sold over 3,600 frankfurters in a bun that year. And in 1880, a sausage vendor in St Louis who gave white gloves to his customers to help them hold their hot sausages ran out of gloves, and began giving them out inside a white bun instead.

By 1893, the hot dog was a favorite baseball park treat. Some believe this is because of Chris von de Ahe, the owner of the St Louis Browns and a local bar, who introduced hot dogs to pair with his beer others claim it was Harry Stevens, a concessionaire at the New York Giants baseball stadium, who popularized them at sporting games.

In 1916, Nathan Handwerker – a Polish immigrant and employee of Feltman’s – opened a hot dog stand of his own, selling them for half the price of his competitor, and Feltman was eventually forced to close up shop. By the 1920s, Nathan’s hot dogs were known nationwide.

As the hot dog made its way from east to west, it became widespread in American culture: it appeared at backyard barbecues and Fourth of July celebrations, even making its way onto a White House menu in 1939. In 1939, King George VI of England and Queen Elizabeth made the first royal visit to the USA. Franklin D Roosevelt and the first lady hosted a picnic, at which Eleanor decided to serve the hot dog. Having never tried one before, the Queen asked, “How do you eat this?” That same year, the West Coast responded with its own hot dog stand, when Paul and Betty Pink opened the famous Pink’s in Los Angeles.


Over 100 Years of Hot Dogs: A History of Nathan's Famous

Craving a hot dog? Here&aposs the history behind Nathan&aposs Famous, Inc.  (NATH) - Get Report , the more than 100-year old company that serves up beef hot dogs, fries, and shakes.

In 1916, Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker opened the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand in Coney Island, New York with his wife&aposs secret spice recipe. Fast forward to 1939, and President Roosevelt served Nathan&aposs hot dogs to the King and Queen of England. 

In 1955, Nathan&aposs opened its second location in Oceanside, Long Island and in 1968 the company went public. That same year, Nathan Handwerker&aposs son published The Nathan&aposs Famous Hot Dog Cookbook.

In 1972, Nathan&aposs held its first ever recorded hot dog eating contest on July 4.

Nathan&aposs hot dogs made their supermarket debut in 1983. In 1987 the Handwerker family sold off the business to private investors, who then expanded franchise operations around New York.

In 2014, Nathan&aposs launched its Mobile Tour and took the Original Coney Island Flavor on the road. The company currently does two tours each year.

Nathan&aposs Hot Dog Eating Contest is happening again this July 4, with Joey Chestnut competing. Chestnut has won the contest 12 times. He holds the world record of 74 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.


Dachsunds, Dog Wagons and Other Important Elements of Hot Dog History

Sausage is one of the oldest forms of processed food, having been mentioned in Homer's Odyssey as far back as the 9th Century B.C.

Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, is traditionally credited with originating the frankfurter. However, this claim is disputed by those who assert that the popular sausage - known as a "dachshund" or "little-dog" sausage - was created in the late 1600's by Johann Georghehner, a butcher, living in Coburg, Germany. According to this report, Georghehner later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product.

In 1987, the city of Frankfurt celebrated the 500th birthday of the hot dog in that city. It's said that the frankfurter was developed there in 1487, five years before Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world. The people of Vienna (Wien), Austria, point to the term "wiener" to prove their claim as the birthplace of the hot dog.

As it turns out, it is likely that the North American hot dog comes from a widespread common European sausage brought here by butchers of several nationalities. Also in doubt is who first served the dachshund sausage with a roll. One report says a German immigrant sold them, along with milk rolls and sauerkraut, from a push cart in New York City's Bowery during the 1860's. In 1871, Charles Feltman, a German butcher opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand selling 3,684 dachshund sausages in a milk roll during his first year in business.

The year, 1893, was an important date in hot dog history. In Chicago that year, the Colombian Exposition brought hordes of visitors who consumed large quantities of sausages sold by vendors. People liked this food that was easy to eat, convenient and inexpensive. Hot dog historian Bruce Kraig, Ph.D., retired professor emeritus at Roosevelt University, says the Germans always ate the dachshund sausages with bread. Since the sausage culture is German, it is likely that Germans introduced the practice of eating the dachshund sausages, which we today know as the hot dog, nestled in a bun.

Also in 1893, sausages became the standard fare at baseball parks. This tradition is believed to have been started by a St. Louis bar owner, Chris Von de Ahe, a German immigrant who also owned the St. Louis Browns major league baseball team.

Many hot dog historians chafe at the suggestion that today's hot dog on a bun was introduced during the St. Louis "Louisiana Purchase Exposition" in 1904 by Bavarian concessionaire, Anton Feuchtwanger. As the story goes, he loaned white gloves to his patrons to hold his piping hot sausages and as most of the gloves were not returned, the supply began running low. He reportedly asked his brother-in-law, a baker, for help. The baker improvised long soft rolls that fit the meat - thus inventing the hot dog bun. Kraig says everyone wants to claim the hot dog bun as their own invention, but the most likely scenario is the practice was handed down by German immigrants and gradually became widespread in American culture.

Another story that riles serious hot dog historians is how term "hot dog" came about. Some say the word was coined in 1901 at the New York Polo Grounds on a cold April day. Vendors were hawking hot dogs from portable hot water tanks shouting "They're red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they're red hot!" A New York Journal sports cartoonist, Tad Dorgan, observed the scene and hastily drew a cartoon of barking dachshund sausages nestled warmly in rolls. Not sure how to spell "dachshund" he simply wrote "hot dog!" The cartoon is said to have been a sensation, thus coining the term "hot dog." However, historians have been unable to find this cartoon, despite Dorgan's enormous body of work and his popularity.

Kraig, and other culinary historians, point to college magazines where the word "hot dog" began appearing in the 1890s. The term was current at Yale in the fall of 1894,when "dog wagons" sold hot dogs at the dorms. The name was a sarcastic comment on the provenance of the meat. References to dachshund sausages and ultimately hot dogs can be traced to German immigrants in the 1800s. These immigrants brought not only sausages to America, but dachshund dogs. The name most likely began as a joke about the Germans' small, long, thin dogs. In fact, even Germans called the frankfurter a "little-dog" or "dachshund" sausage, thus linking the word "dog" to their popular concoction.


Hot Dog!

The origin of the hot dog has long been contested and has even been a source of tension in American history. In 1913, for example, Mayor Reginald S. Bennett called an emergency meeting of his cabinet when he learned two men were selling hot dogs in Asbury Park, New Jersey. That day, the council banned the sale of frankfurters on Sundays, citing that such commerce “would not add to the dignity of the beach.”

Hot dogs drew even further scrutiny in 1922 when detectives arrested two men in Atlantic City for secretly peddling drugs by inserting small packages of narcotics inside the slit of hot dog buns. Indeed, despite hot dogs’ popularity, newspaper articles of the early 1900s cast a negative image of the classic American finger food. Likewise, Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle, which described unsanitary sausage making practices in a Chicago meat packing house, also influenced the public’s perception. Nevertheless, the millions of hot dogs bought in the United States every year testifies to the food’s popularity beginning in late nineteenth century America.

In 1871, Charles Feltman purportedly opened the first Coney Island hot dog stand and sold over 3,000 dachshund sausages in a milk roll during his first year in operation. He was quickly overtaken, however, by his former employee, Nathan Handwerker, a polish immigrant who arrived in New York City in 1912. Nathan’s Famous quickly became a popular eatery in Coney Island, especially once the subway extended to that neighborhood. In fact, it is estimated that visitors bought 75,000 Nathan’s hot dogs each weekend during the summer of 1920.

Years earlier, Nathan’s Famous also started a tradition that continues today: the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. As the story goes, four immigrants competed against each other to scarf down the most franks in an attempt to showcase their patriotism. Today, tens of thousands of spectators gather to watch competitors eat as many hot dogs as they can in ten minutes. In 2011, almost 2 million people watched ESPN’s live broadcast of the event. This past July Fourth, Matt Stonie won the men’s contest by eating 62 dogs. Miki Sudo crushed her competition by eating 38 franks.

Andrew Herman, Federal Art Project (n.d). Nathan’s Hot Dog Stand, Coney Island, July 1939. Museum of the City of New York. 43.131.5.13

Andrew Herman, Federal Art Project (n.d.). At Nathan’s Hot Dog Stand 2, July 1939. Museum of the City of New York. 43.131.5.91

Andrew Herman, Federal Art Project (n.d.). At Nathan’s Hot Dog Stand, July 1939. Museum of the City of New York. 43.131.5.33

Benjamin A. Falk (1853-1925). Portrait, Harry Stevens & Sons, Hot Dog Man of Ballfields, ca. 1890. Museum of the City of New York. 93.1.1.9279

Berenice Abbott (1898-1991). Hot Dog Stand, April 8, 1936. Museum of the City of New York. 40.140.147

George Herlick, Federal Art Project (n.d.). Hot Dog Stand, 1937. Museum of the City of New York. 2003.25.80

Even prior to Nathan’s success on the east coast, hot dogs gained national popularity in 1893. That year, Americans enjoyed the affordability and convenience of the portable bun and sausage combo during the Colombian Exposition in Chicago. At that time, hot dogs also became standard fare at baseball parks. Harry Stevens, a British steelworker, moved to the United States and began selling scorecards for local games. In 1887, he started Harry M. Stevens Inc. in Columbus, Ohio and became a concessionaire. The company served clients like the San Francisco Giants for over a century and also held large contracts with Shea Stadium and Madison Square Garden, both in New York.

To this day, hot dogs remain extremely popular both at ballparks and at home. This season, over 21 million wieners are expected to sell at ballparks across the country. Last year, nearly 1 billion packages of hot dogs were sold at retail stores nationwide. And although Los Angeles residents eat more franks than inhabitants of any other city in the United States, New Yorkers spend more: over $121.6 million on wieners in 2014.

Arthur Rothstein, Look Magazine (1915-1985). Changing New York [Man eating a hot dog], 1957. Museum of the City of New York. X2011.4.7552-57.146D

Stanley Kubrick, Look Magazine (1928 – 1999). Palisades Amusement Park [Group of people eating hot dogs], 1946. Museum of the City of New York. X2011.4.11294.386 Image used with permission from the ©SK Film Archives and the Museum of the City of New York

Stanley Kubrick, Look Magazine (1928 – 1999). Shoe Shine Boy [Mickey and other boys at a hotdog cart], 1947. Museum of the City of New York. X2011.4.10368.124

Arthur Rothstein, Look Magazine (1915-1985). Changing New York [Girl eating a hot dog], 1957. Museum of the City of New York. X2011.4.7552-57.146C

Edwin Martin (n.d.). Deceit! Hot Dogs, 1998. Museum of the City of New York. 2000.78.14

Genevieve Hafner, Concrete Jungle Images, Inc. (1961- ). Civic Center, 1991, 1991. Museum of the City of New York. 98.78.7

It’s no surprise that New Yorkers pay so much, especially when one considers the amount food vendors spend to license their pushcarts. In 2013, The New York Timesreported that Mohammad Mastafa of Astoria, Queens paid the city’s parks department $289,500 a year for the right to operate a single cart at Fifth Avenue and East 62nd Street near the Central Park Zoo. His situation is not an anomaly. The 20 highest license fees each exceeded $100,000. In other areas, fees are lower: $14,000 in Astoria Park, Queens $3,200 in Maria Hernandez Park, Brooklyn and $1,100 in Pelham Bay Park, Bronx. $700 is the lowest fee for a pushcart. The owner operates his stand near the soccer fields in Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan. All told, the concession stands produce over $450 million annually for the city’s general fund.

The high cost of doing business sometimes results in predatory selling. For example, in May 2015, a hot dog vendor near the World Trade Center charged upwards of $30 for a hot dog and drink, targeting those he considered tourists. The story generated so much attention that the pushcart’s owner fired the employee for overcharging customers. So whether you call them franks or weenies, coneys or dogs whether you prefer ketchup or kraut, chili or Chicago style, just remember: don’t pay more than a couple bucks to enjoy the “snap” of your dirty water dog.

Works Cited

“Asbury Bans “Hot Dogs.”” The New York Times 24 June 1913: n. pag. The New York Times. The New York Times. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.

Collins, Gail. “‘Hot Dog,’ This Company Says, After Being in Business Almost 100 Years.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 15 Jan. 1985. Web. 07 Aug. 2015.

“Consumption Stats.” NHDSC. National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, n.d. Web. 07 Aug. 2015.

“Dachsunds, Dog Wagons and Other Important Elements of Hot Dog History.” History of the Hot Dog. National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, n.d. Web. 07 Aug. 2015.

Fromson, Daniel. “The Hot Dog Files: 12 Tales From America’s Era of Sausage-Hating.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 02 July 2011. Web. 07 Aug. 2015.

“Hot Dog Eating Contest.” Nathan’s Famous. Nathan’s Famous, 4 July 2015. Web. 07 Aug. 2015.

“‘Hot Dogs’ in Atlantic City Carry Drugs to Addicts.” The New York Times 10 July 1922: n. pag. The New York Times. The New York Times. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.

Kraig, Bruce, and Patty Carroll. Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America. Lanham: AltaMira, 2012. Print.

Roberts, Sam. “The Six-Figure Price Tag for Selling a $2 Hot Dog.” The New York Times5 Sept. 2013, New York ed., A18 sec.: n. pag. The New York Times. The New York Times, 4 Sept. 2013. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.

Russo, Melissa. “NYC “Rip-Off” Hot Dog Vendor Fired After I-Team Report Exposes Outrageous Pricing.” NBC 4 New York. NBC, 21 May 2015. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.

Schleeter, Ryan. “Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.” National Geographic Education. National Geographic, n.d. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.

Smith, Peter. “The Stunt That Launched Nathan’s Famous Stand on Coney Island.” New York. Smithsonian, 3 July 2012. Web. 07 Aug. 2015.


The Extra-Long History of the Hot Dog - HISTORY

The hot dog (also spelled hotdog) is a grilled or steamed sausage sandwich where the sausage is served in the slit of a partially sliced bun. It can also refer to the sausage itself. The sausage used is the wiener (Vienna sausage) or frankfurter (Frankfurter Würstchen, also just called frank). The names of these sausages also commonly refer to their assembled sandwiches. Hot dog preparation and condiments vary regionally in the United States. Typical condiments include mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, relish, and cheese sauce, and common garnishes include onions, sauerkraut, jalapeños, chili, grated cheese, coleslaw, and olives. Hot dog variants include the corn dog and pigs in a blanket. The hot dog's cultural traditions include the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. These types of sausages and their sandwiches were culturally imported from Germany and became popular in the United States, where the "hot dog" became a working-class street food sold at stands and carts. The hot dog became closely associated with baseball and American culture. Although particularly connected with New York City and its cuisine, the hot dog eventually became ubiquitous throughout the US during the 20th century, and emerged as an important part of other regional cuisines, including Chicago street cuisine.


Hot Dogs History

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council dates back its origin to the 9th century BC as it was mentioned in Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.” Centuries later, Roman emperor Nero’s cook, Gaius is said to be the first person to have been linked with sausages. In Ancient Rome, it was customary to starve pigs before they were to be slaughtered and cooked. Gaius was watching the kitchen and realized one pig was not cleaned and roasted properly. Gaius stuck a knife in the pig’s belly to see if it was good to eat but the pig’s intestine popped out because of starvation and heat. According to popular sayings, he then exclaimed, “I have discovered something of great importance!”. He later stuffed the intestines with ground venison, ground beef with spices and wheat.

Why Are Hot Dogs Associated with America?

Historians believe that the origin of the first hot dog has been traced to Rome and eventually brought to Germany. But Germany is said to be the official birthplace of hot dogs. Frankfurt, a city in Germany claims the frankfurter was invented there in 1484. The Germans experimented with hot dogs and discovered several versions and brought them to America around the 1860s and sold them in push carts which gradually became American’s favorite street food.


History of the Dachshund Breed

The dachshund (sometimes called the “wiener dog” or “hot dog”), meaning badger dog in German – is a short-legged, long-bodied dog breed belonging to the hound family. The standard size dachshund is bred to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature dachshund is developed to hunt smaller prey such as rabbits. In the American West they have also been used to hunt prairie dogs. Today, they are bred for conformation shows and as family pets. Some dachshunds participate in earthdog trials. According to the AKC, the dachshund continues to remain one of the top 10 dog breeds in the United States of America.

The Breed History

The dachshund as we know it today originated in Germany over 400 years ago, where it is called Teckel. They were larger than the dachshunds we know today – averaging between 30 and 40 pounds.

It is believed that the dachshund was developed slowly, over a hundred years or so, and it was bred specifically to hunt badgers.

The Purpose

Selective breeding by German foresters developed a breed of hunting dog, mostly used to hunt badgers, as the land owners at this time considered badgers a pest. The dachshund was also used to hunt foxes, rabbits and when working in packs, bigger animals such as deer and boar.

The hunters needed a hardy dog that could follow quarry through thick undergrowth and even underground with fearless spirit and a build suitable for fitting into narrow burrows. Even with their short legs they could cover distances at speed, with a loud bark to let the hunters stay on the trail.

Based on a chest measurement taken at the age of fifteen months, there are two types of those breeds:

  • The standard Dachshund: Standard dachshunds were used in packs to hunt and catch wild boar and to go into badger dens. The Dachshund would chase the badger out of the den and corner it for the hunter. This helped the hunter because then the badgers were not attacking their horses.
  • The miniature Dachshund: As Dachshund history is told German foresters reduced body size of the Dachshund by selective breeding to create a miniature version of the Standard Dachshund. The Foresters did this so the Dachshund could go into rabbit holes easier.

The Dachshund would chase the rabbit out of the hole and the hunter would then kill the rabbit. History also states that miniature Dachshunds were also used for hunting fox and tracking deer that were wounded from the hunter.

The first appearance

According to Dachshund history these small dogs first appeared in UK in 1840 when Prince Consort received a number of smooth haired dachshunds from Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar these dogs were kept at Windsor and took part mainly in pheasant shoots.

The first Dachshund dog show was in England in 1859, another royal to show interest in the Dachshund breed was Queen Victoria, her interest in dog shows improved the dachshund dogs popularity.

Popularity of the Breed

During the First World War, because of their German origin they went out of fashion as anything to do with Germany was not popular and it has only been by the efforts of dedicated breeders that they are now one of the most popular small dog breeds.

The first Dachshund arrived in United States in 1870 by 1895 the Dachshund Club of America was established. Initially they were used for hunting rabbits and other small game but over some years evolved into a household companion, while still retaining their hunting instincts they really enjoyed being with people, and the fun and interaction they can create. They are now one of the most popular small dog breed in America and it’s easy to see why. With their big fearless personalities and sweet nature with the ones they love, dachshunds can make a great addition to the family.


In 1954 Thomas H. LaBelle &mdash affectionately known as &ldquoHarold&rdquo &mdash converted a small 6' x 12' popcorn trailer into a unique little hot dog stand and began selling steamed foot longs along the Route 5 and 10 corridor of the Pioneer Valley. The hot dog stand became an instant success and its reputation for quality fast food spread around the region. As a result of its popularity, the hot dog stand experienced many physical modifications to keep up with demand. In 1957, the hot dog stand was moved to miles north to where it's located today.

In 1964, tragedy struck when Harold suffered permanent injuries from severe fire that engulfed his automobile while on his way home from work. Harold never expected to recover from the incident much less return to run the hotdog stand for another 20 years. The hot dog stand continued on through the support of Harold's wife Jean and his son tom, for whom the hotdog stand was originally named. Harold retired in 1984 when his son Tom assumed operations.

In 2014, Gary Kloc, a member of the same family that run the famous Whately Inn took up the spatula at the grill and has continued the fine American tradition of great roadside fast food, adding to the menu his own homemade chili and mac and cheese and more, sure to carry on the great Tom&rsquos name well into the twenty-first century.

Our classic little piece of roadside Americana has been cited by the New York Times as one of the area's best local stops &mdash an honor confirmed by many who travel far and near to frequently enjoy the experience.

The Kloc family, Marilee, Taylor, and Gary.


Nathan's Famous hot dogs once gave away 80,000 glasses of free beer

There ain't no party like a Nathan's Famous party and the hot dog vendor celebrated the end of prohibition in a seriously big way. The restaurant owns one of New York City's oldest beer licenses, and when prohibition came to an end in 1933, Nathan Handwerker decided to mark the occasion by offering up as much free beer as people could drink.

"He obtained one of the first post-Prohibition permits to sell beer out," Nathan Handwerker's grandson Lloyd Handwerker told Thirteen. "He made a deal with Kings Brewery, the major local supplier, just cranking up legal production on Pulaski Street in Brooklyn. took over Anna Singer's custard stand. and gave out free mugs of beer."

According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, it was quite the celebration too, and Nathan's Famous served up some 80,000 glasses of free beer to its customers, who presumably bought quite a few hot dogs in the process.

You can still get a beer at Nathan's to help wash down your hot dog or frog legs, just don't expect it to be free.


Watch the video: The History of Hamburgers. Food: Now and Then. NowThis