Hot Dog Bun History, the story of that wonderful soft bun, shaped specifically to contain a hot dog or frankfurter. Created with the purpose to make it possible to eat hot dogs without burning ones hands is well disputed.
Some people believe that it is just an extension of the sandwich which was originally invented by the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu in 1762. While others think that the hot dog bun just came about as a natural adaption to the hotdog.
There are two basic types: top-loading (also known as Frankfurter rolls) New England Style Rolls or Lobster Buns in some areas, and side-loading, common in the rest of the United States also called American Style Buns. The advantages to a top loader are that it holds the hot dog securely and fits nicely into little three-sided paper boxes. Top loaders are generally baked side by side and torn apart as needed, leaving a flat side surface for grilling.
As we all know a sausage does not become a Hot Dog till It is placed in a bun. With this being said we all owe a great debt to whoever was wise enough to give us the perfect device to hold that great tasting sausage!
In 1867 Charles Feltman a German butcher, opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand in Brooklyn, New York. His idea was to create a sausage sandwich. It couldn't take up a lot of space in the stand, so a tin-lined chest was made to keep the rolls fresh and a small charcoal stove put inside to boil sausages. Once the project was finished, and the strange sausage in a roll tasted, the hot dog was born and sold to the masses. Feltman is credited with the idea of the warm bun and so he became the hot dog king, the undisputed inventor of the complete hot dog as we know it today.
But as with everything Hot Dog this is disputed by others who lay claim to our beloved Hot Dog Bun
In 1880 a German peddler, Anton 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. Anton Feuchtwanger has also laid claim to the idea, offering the snack at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Like we have seen already there are many claims to the invention of the first ever sausage in a roll and another claim comes from Harry Stevens who was born in Litchurch in 1856 but moved to Ohio in 1880.
Upon arriving in the States, Harry became obsessed with baseball and quickly made his mark by designing and selling the sport's first scorecard - a design which is still in use to this day. By 1900, Harry had secured contracts to supply refreshments at several Major League ballparks across the country. He decided his stalls needed a new snack suited to colder weather and, being aware of the popular 'dachshund' sausages sold in nearby shops, he ordered his staff to buy as many as possible, cook them in hot water tanks and serve them in a long bread roll. But whether he was the first person to actually 'build' a hot dog or not, which seems unlikely due to Feltman and Feuchtwanger's earlier claims, it seems that Harry Stevens played a role in popularizing the snack.
Harry Magely is credited for putting the hot dog into a warm bun and topping it with various condiments. As catering director of New York City's Polo Grounds, he reportedly instructed his vendors to cry out, "Red hots! Get your red hots!"
Meanwhile Chris von der Ahe, another German immigrant who owned the St Louis Browns, is thought to have been offering up hot dogs to spectators from as early as 1893.
The truth is that Germans have been eating their "little dog" sausages with bread for ages. German immigrants sold hot dogs, along with milk, rolls and sauerkraut from pushcarts in New York City's Bowery, between Little Italy and Greenwich, as early as the 1860s. Since the sausage culture is German, it is most likely that Germans introduced the practice of eating the dachshund sausages, which we today know as the hot dog, nestled in a bun.
Interested in a great book about Hot Dog History? Then you will want to read "Man Bites Dog" By Bruce Kraig and Patty Carroll
Check out these other great pages about hot dog history!