Hot Dog Stand Art At The Queens Museum

Depression era hot dog guy

Working Stiffs… thats one of the art collections  now at the Queens Museum in NYC through November 14th. 

 Fifty photographs have been selected from the permanent collection of the Queens Museum of Art to articulate what it is to work, cross-culturally and geographically, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. An extensive range of images highlight contemporary artists such as Sylvia Plachy, Pedro Meyer and Dulce Pinzon whose insightful works reveal the visages of laundry attendants, tailors, servants and even Hot Dog Vendors with both intelligence and humor, to 19th century anonymous photographers documenting the daily life of the trades in Europe, the United States and the Far East.

The above photo was taken by Depression-era photographer Berenice Abbott

Times have changed! look at what a hot dog cart looks like now.


A Piece Of Hot Dog History To Be Demolished

Contrary to popular belief  it was not  Nathan Handwerker (a Jewish immigrant from Poland who started Nathan’s Famous) that brought the hot dog to Coney Island, but rather Charles Feltman (1841-1910), a German butcher who is accredited with the idea of selling pork sausages on a warm bun, around 1867.

Feltman reportedly sold over 3,000 sausages on a roll during his first year in business, pushing around a wagon to hungry beachgoers. The hot dog sold for 10 cents apiece and enabled Feltman to build an empire with a hotel, restaurants, food stands, and amusements.

All hot dog money.

Nathan Handwerker slept on the floor of Feltman’s kitchen, which is all that remains of Feltman’s legacy, and it is slated to be demolished.

Handwerker’s job was slicing hot dog rolls and delivering the franks to the guys who worked at the grilling stations. He lived on free hot dogs to save his $11 per week salary. At the end of the year, he’d saved $300 and opened a competing stand and sold them for 5 cents a hot dog instead of 10 cents.

That was the beginning of Nathan’s Famous and the demise of Feltman’s, which went out of business in 1952.

The property became Astroland Park, and now all that’s left is the kitchen. It was used as a workshop for the rides, and though it’s in poor condition this was arguably the spot where a legendary hot dog empire was first dreamed up. Nonetheless, it’s among the structures to be torn down on land recently purchased by the city of New York.

This building should really be saved as a museum or listed as a historical monument. A true piece of New York and American history.

Thanks to Amusing the Zillion for the info on this story

Feltman's Kitchen

All That's Left Of The Feltman Empire

Should hotdog packs carry warning labels?

The Cancer Project, a non-profit anti-meat consumer group in Washington, D.C., United States, had filed a class-action suit in New Jersey alleging that hotdogs posed serious health risks.

The nonprofit Cancer Project is filing the suit on behalf of John O’Donnell, Ruthann Hilland, and Michele DeScisciolo, who purchased hot dogs made by the companies without being made aware that processed meat products are a cause of colorectal cancer.

But Hold On a minute here: Janet Riley of the American Meat Institute and the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, challenged the assertions by the nonprofit Cancer Project, which is filing the lawsuit on behalf of the New Jersey residents, and its affiliate, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

“They’re an animal rights group,” Riley said. “Their solution to every possible illness is vegetarianism. Their objective is to end meat consumption, period. … It’s a very selective use of the science to further their animal rights agenda.”

The lawsuit is based on a “landmark” 2007 American Institute for Cancer Research report, based on 58 scientific studies, showing that the daily consumption of one 50-gram serving of processed meat (about the amount in a single hot dog) increases the risk of colorectal cancer, on average, by 21 percent, according to the Cancer Project. About 50,000 people die each year from colorectal cancer.

The findings would seem to run counter to a bevy of studies, including a 2004 federally funded Harvard School of Public Health study finding no link between meat and colon cancer, provided by the meat-industry arm. What’s more, the meat institute’s Riley said, the chemical preservative nitrites cited as harmful are found in abundance in vegetables.

So let me  re-cap: We have a group of vegetarians who by the way don’t eat hot dogs, telling you that they are bad for you. The same nitrites found in some hot dogs are also found in vegtables.  What?

Let me tell you what I know. Not All hot dogs have nitrites, in fact some of the companies not listed do not use nitrites and that is probably why they are not being sued. I our hot dog catering business we use only 100% all beef dogs, and they are made from beef cutlet, and have no nitrites.

One more point: Moderation! I have a lot of customers and most do not eat a hot dog every day, and I’m sure you don’t either. Ask your doctor but he will probably tell you the same thing my doc tells me: Drink plenty of water, excersize, and make sure you are taking in enough fiber, and have a hot dog once and a while!

Caesar Ate Hot Dogs?

Most people believe that the hot dog was invented some time in the 1800s. However here is a little known fact that you were not taught in history class; Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar’s cook, Gaius in 64 A.D. accidentally forgot to clean a pig before roasting and discovered the intestines puffed, hot with air. He then stuffed with ground venison, ground beef, cooked ground wheat and spices and brought the sausage into history.

In 1484 the frankfurter was developed in Frankfurt, Germany. However there is also a possibility that credit should be given to Johann Georghehner, a butcher from Coburg, Germany, who later introduced it to Frankfurt.

The frankfurters arrived in New York with German immigrants in the 1860’s and were sold from pushcarts in New York City’s Bowery. In 1880 a German peddler, Antonoine Feuchtwanger started selling sausages on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. At that time, the sausage wasn’t encased in a bun and Feuchtwanger provided people with white gloves to keep them from burning their hands. Customers often kept the gloves for themselves which was not very profitable for Feuchtwanger; finally his wife came up with the idea of a split bun. Feuchtwanger’s brother– in-law, who was a baker made long soft rolls that fit the sausage and so the hot dog and bun were born. He called them „red hots.” People found that this food was convenient, delicious and fun to eat.

In 1893 it became popular at baseball parks. This tradition was begun by the owner of the St. Louis Browns major league baseball team, Chris Von de Ahe. So there is the brief history of America’s favorite food, as with most great inventions it all started by mistake. Just a side note: Americans consume the most hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Check out how we do hot dog catering: just the best N.Y. and Chicago dogs on the west coast.