In 1987, Frankfurt, Germany celebrated the 500th birthday of the frankfurter, the hot dog sausage. Although, the people of Vienna (Wien), Austria will point out that their wiener sausages are proof of origin for the hot dog. In “Every wonder why?” Douglas B. Smith explains that the hotdog was given its name by a cartoonist.
A butcher from Frankfurt who owned a dachshund named the long frankfurter sausage a “dachshund sausage”, the dachshund being a slim dog with a long body. Dachshund is German for badger dog as they were originally bred for hunting badgers. German immigrants brought the dachshund sausage to the United States. In 1871, German butcher Charles Feltman opened the first hotdog stand in Coney Island, selling 3,684 dachshund sausages, most wrapped in a white bread roll, during his first year of trade.
In the meantime, frankfurters – and wieners – were sold as hot food by sausage sellers. In 1901, New York Times cartoonist T.A. Dargan noticed that one sausage seller used bread buns to handle the hot sausages after he burnt his fingers and decided to illustrate the incident. He wasn’t sure of the spelling of dachshund and simply called it “hot dog”.
Sausage is one of the oldest forms of processed meat, having been mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey in the 9th century BC.