It’s National Hot Dog Day! The origin of this holiday is unclear, but considering July is National Hot Dog Month, I suppose it makes sense to have it all culminate in a single day. Of course, as the father of two young children, I sometimes feels like National Hot Dog Day is everyday.
The frankfurter came to the United States with immigrants from Germany, and the wienerwurst, or wiener, came with those from Austria. The practice of eating them with bread supposedly began on Coney Island in Brooklyn in the late 1860s or early 1870s, when a German immigrant named Charles Feltman began selling hot sausages wrapped in a roll.
The origin of the “hot dog” name is disputed, but some say the immigrant vendors brought their dachshunds along, so the carts came to be called dog wagons. Then came the jokes that the meat was from dogs. Whatever the origin, baseball parks were selling them and calling them hot dogs by the 1890s.
As for Mr. Feltman, he started a restaurant where hot dogs sold for 10 cents. One of his former employees, Nathan Handwerker, started a competing hot dog business in 1917. Handwerker undercut Feltman by only charging a nickel for a hot dog thereby creating a New York legend in the process.
Nathan’s Famous protects its brand with 23 federal trademark registrations. The registrations cover everything from the words NATHAN’S FAMOUS to company logos.
Oscar Mayer is another brand that’s known for its hot dogs. There are 37 federal trademark registrations protecting this iconic brand. Like with NATHAN’S FAMOUS, they cover the basics like the words OSCAR MAYER and various logos. Oscar Mayer also protects its packaging with registrations.
Oscar Mayer even has federal trademark registrations protecting the design of its Wienermobile.
So I hope you enjoy National Hot Dog Day. Just make sure you use proper etiquette when enjoying one of America’s favorite foods. Here are some etiquette tips from the “Queen of Wien” in case you need any pointers: