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The History of the Hot Dog
Claims of "invention" of the hot dog are difficult to assess, because different stories assert the creation of the sausage itself, the placing of the sausage (or another kind of sausage) on bread or a bun as finger food, the mass popularization of the existing dish, or the application of the name "hot dog" to a sausage and bun combination.
The city of Vienna traces the lineage of the hot dog to the wienerwurst or Viennese sausage, the city of Frankfurt to the frankfurter wurst, which it claims was invented in the 1480s; the hot dog has also been attributed to Johann Georghehner, a 17th century butcher from the Bavarian city of Coburg who is said to have invented the "dachshund" or "little-dog" sausage and brought it to Frankfurt.
Around 1870 on Coney Island, a German immigrant named Charles Feltman began selling sausages in rolls. Others have also been acknowledged for supposedly having "invented" the hot dog, including Anton Ludwig Feuchtwanger, a Bavarian sausage seller who is said to have started serving sausages in rolls at the World's Faireither the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago or the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St Louisbecause the white gloves he gave to customers so that they could eat his hot sausages in comfort began to disappear as souvenirs. The association between hot dogs and baseball may have began as early as 1893 with Chris von der Ahe, a German immigrant who owned not only the St. Louis Browns, but also an amusement park, beer garden and brewery near Sportsman's Park, where he sold his beer. In 1916, an employee of Feltman's named Nathan Handwerker was encouraged by celebrity clients Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante to go into business in competition with his former employer. Handwerker undercut Feltman's by charging five cents for a hot dog when his former employer was charging ten. At a time when food regulation was in its infancy, and the pedigree of the hot dog particularly suspect, Handwerker made sure that men wearing surgeon's smocks were seen eating at Nathan's Famous in order to reassure potential customers.
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