Some believe the term "hot dog" was coined in 1901 at the New York Polo Grounds baseball stadium. One cold April day, concessionaire Harry Stevens (his company is still in business) was losing money with ice cream & soda. He sent his vendors out to buy up all the dachshund sausages they could find along with an equal number of rolls. Soon they were hawking sausages from portable hot water tanks. They shouted "Get your dachshund sausages while they're red hot!" Meanwhile, in the press box, renowned sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan was nearing his deadline & desperate for an idea. Hearing the vendors, he hastily drew a cartoon of barking dachshund sausages nestled warmly in rolls. Not sure how to spell "dachshund" he simply wrote "hotdog." The cartoon was a sensation & the term "hot dog" was born.
The modern-day hot dog on a bun was probably introduced during the St. Louis "Louisiana Purchase Exposition" in 1904 by Bavarian concessionaire Anton Feuchtwanger. It is said he loaned white gloves to his patrons to hold his piping hot sausages. As most of the gloves were not returned, 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.
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, who traveled to Frankfurt to promote his product.
- Babe Ruth once ate 12 hot dogs and drank 8 cans of soda during a double header, that he was rushed to the hospital with a sever case of indigestion.
- When Bruce Willis proposed to Demi Moore years ago, he did it in front of a hot dog stand. Can't get more romantic than that!
- The world's biggest hot dog was 1,996 feet long, created by Sara Lee Corp. in honor of the 1996 Olympics.
- The most popular hot dog topping among adults is mustard (87.6%). Among children, it is ketchup.
- Marlene Dietrich said that her favorite meal was hot dogs & champagne.
- Al Capone's and Cary Grant's favorite food was Nathan's Coney Island hot dogs.
- The average hot dog is consumed in 6.1 bites.
- The 2001 world record for hot dog eating is 50 wieners with buns in 12 minutes Chicago's O'Hare International Airport sells more than 2 million hot dogs a year.
- Baseball fans will enjoy "in the ballpark" of 26.8 million hot dogs at U.S. baseball stadiums this season. That's enough to circle the bases 36,000 times.
- President Franklin Roosevelt served King George VI of England hot dogs & beer during a White House visit in 1939. Mrs. Jimmy Carter served hot dogs at a White House picnic in 1977.
- Americans consumed 20 billion hot dogs in 2000. The 7 billion eaten just during the summer months are enough to stretch from Chicago (the hot dog capital of the universe) to Frankfurt, Germany (where it all began) 125 times.
- Weight Watchers includes hot dogs in its medically-approved diet regimen.
- NASA approved hot dogs as a regular item on Apollo moon flights, Skylab missions & space shuttle flights.
- Sausages may be the oldest form of processed food, having been mentioned in Homer's Odyssey in the 9th Century B.C.