Hot Dog History

Like most great events in History, there are varying accounts of how it all began and who started it. The history of the Hot Dog is no different. You will find many references throughout history to the origins of a Hot Dog-like thing called a sausage. Here are some stories of how the Hot Dog was born.

One of the earliest references to the Sausage, appeared in Homer's Odyssey (an ancient Greek tale of adventure and heroism) in 850 BC.

Another legend is that the popular sausage (known as "dachshund" or "little-dog" sausage) was created in the late 1600s by Johann Georghehner, a butcher living in Coburg, Germany. It is said that he later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product.

In 1805, the people of Vienna (Wien), Austria point to the term "wiener" to prove their claim as the birthplace of the hot dog. It is said that the master sausage maker who made the first wiener got his early training in Frankfurt, Germany. He called his sausage the "wiener-frankfurter." But it was generally known as "wienerwurst." The wiener comes from Wien (the German name of Vienna) and wurst means sausage in German.

In 1852, the butcher's guild in Frankfurt, Germany introduced a spiced and smoked sausage which was packed in a thin casing and they called it a "frankfurter" after their hometown. The sausage had a slightly curved shape supposedly due to the coaxing of a butcher who had a popular dachshund. The frankfurter was also known as a "dachshund sausage" and this name came with it to America.

The invention of the Hot Dog, is often attributed to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. However, similar sausages were made and consumed in Europe, particularly in Germany, as early as 1864, and the earliest example of a hot dog bun dates to New York City in the 1860s. German immigrants appear to have sold hot dogs, along with milk rolls and sauerkraut, from pushcarts in New York City's Bowery during the 1860s. The Hot Dog's association with baseball also predates the 1904 World's Fair.  Chris von der Ahe, owner of the St Louis Browns, sold Hot Dogs at his ballpark in the 1880s.

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 1484, five years before Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world. However, Vienna, came up with protests against this German celebration. Because the people of Vienna (Wien), Austria, point to the term "wiener" to prove their claim as the birthplace of the hot dog.

Who's Served the First Hot Dog?
Also in doubt is who first served the first Hot Dog. Wieners and frankfurters don't become Hot Dogs until someone puts them in a roll or a bun. There are several stories or legends as to how this first happened. 
Specific people were have been credited for for supposedly inventing the Hot Dog. Charles Feltman and Antonoine Feuchtwanger were among the few.

In 1867, Charles Feltman, a German butcher, opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand in Brooklyn, New York and sold 3,684 dachshund sausages in a roll during his first year in business  He is also credited with the idea of the warm bun.

In 1880 a German peddler, Antonoine Feuchtwanger, sold hot sausages in the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. He would supply white gloves with each purchase so that his customers would not burn their hands while eating the sausage. He saw his profits going down because the customers kept taking the gloves and walking off with them. His wife suggested that he put the sausages in a split bun instead. 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. When he did that, the Hot Dog was born. He called them red hots.

Although the exact origins of the Chicago Dog are not documented, Vienna Beef of Chicago claims the "Chicago-style" Hot Dog was invented by two European immigrants at the Chicago World's Fair and Columbian Exhibition in 1893.

What's in a name?
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.

As you can see, it is not exactly clear when or where the Hot Dog was invented and who introduced it.  I guess that in the end, it doesn't really matter how, when or where.  The history behind the Hot Dog is not as important as the tradition and impact this simple food item has had on the world.

Great Moments in Hot Dog History

Located in southern England, Stonehenge is one of the most recognized iconic archeological creations. It is also one of the least understood. No one really knows how Stonehenge was built or even why it was created. It still remains one of the greatest mysteries of all time. Even the best scientific minds have differing theories behind Stonehenge and the debate rages on.Stonehenge

Finally, the brilliant minds at Hot Dog Chicago Style have solved part of the mystery that has remained an enigma. We are still not sure who built Stonehenge or how this amazing structure was built, but we do know a little about the people who labored tirelessly to create it. The Druids, Greeks, and Atlanteans are believed to be the builders of this magnificent structure which symbolizes Dogolithic architecture. It has long been thought that Stonehenge served a purpose relating to mathematics and astronomy.

After much research, we can report with great certainty that Stonehenge was built by ancient people who discovered the Chicago Style Hot Dog, fell in love with it and created a shrine to honor its very being. In its glory days, Stonehenge looked quite different than it does presently. Originally, there was a Chicago Dog resting on top of its Dogolithic columns. Over time, thieves and deterioration have greatly changed the appearance of Stonehenge and you can no longer see the original "Hot Dog". The fate of the builders of Stonehenge is unknown. They all disappeared and unfortunately, the secret of the Chicago Dog was temporarily lost for thousands of years. All hail the Chicago Style Hot Dog!

There are many more Hot Dog related events, stories and legends about the advent of the Hot Dog.  Most of the historical information presented here was found by searching the web.  To learn more about Hot Dog history, we recommend these websites:

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