Few foods hold the cultural significance of the great American hot dog. From
ballparks to airports to home kitchens, hot dogs are one of America’s favorite foods.
5000 B.C. - First recorded history of a primitive version of the sausage made
and consumed by early meat eaters.
1630s – Much like Einstein split the atom, the sausage is divided into links.
The skinless sausage makes its first appearance soon after.
1834 – The phrase “It’s a dog-eat-dog world” is coined.
1852 – The frankfurter is born when a butchers’ guild in Frankfurt, Germany
introduces a spiced and smoked sausage packed in a thin, almost transparent casing.
1860s – Frankfurters are sold from pushcarts in New York City.
1890s – German immigrant Charles Feltman serves hot sausages in a roll from his
pushcart on Coney Island.
1901 – Harry Mozley Stevens, a concessionaire at the New York Polo Grounds, sells
hot “dachshund sausages” by having his vendors yell, “Get your dachshund sausages
while they’re red hot!” Sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan was nearing his deadline and
desperate for an idea. Hearing the above vendors, he 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 was a sensation, and the term “hot dog” was born.
1904 – Antoine Ludwig Feutchwanger, a concessionaire at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition,
distributes white gloves to his customers so they can eat his hot sausages without burning
their fingers. When his gloves are not returned, he consults a baker who creates a bun
for the sausage.
1906 – Unable to spell “Dachshund,” syndicated Hearst newspaper cartoonist Tad Dorgan
coins the term “hot dog.”
1913 – Coney Island Chamber of Commerce bans the term “hot dog” because of the fear
that people would think they were actually made from dogs.
1939 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt serves hot dogs and beer to King George VI of England.
Frankfurter is appointed to the Supreme Court by President Roosevelt, which prompts the hamburger
to hunger for revenge.
1957 – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce designates the month of July as National Hot Dog Month.
Queen Elizabeth II serves hot dogs at a royal banquet held for the American Bar Association.
1961 – Wienerschnitzel opens its first hot dog restaurant in Wilmington, California.
1970 – Prince Charles and Princess Anne attend a cookout at Camp David where hot dogs are served.
1977 – Mrs. Jimmy Carter serves hot dogs at a White House picnic.
1987 – Frankfurt celebrates the “official” 500th birthday of the hot dog.
1993 – Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado, sets the record for the most hot dogs sold at a
single location with 2.3 million hot dogs and bratwurst.
1995 – Approximately 17 billion hot dogs are eaten in the United States, about 75 for every man, woman, and child.