A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 25, 2014
Hamburger Bun

Walt A. Anderson is sometimes credited with inventing the hamburger bun for the White Castle restaurant in 1921. Oscar Weber Bilby of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is sometimes credited for putting the first hamburger inside a bun in 1891.

“Buns, too, are an important constituent of hamburger sandwiches” was cited in print in 1902. “Hamburger buns” was cited in print in 1906.


Wikipedia: Hamburger
Oscar Weber Bilby
Another claim attributes the invention of the hamburger to Oscar Weber Bilby in 1891. The family of Oscar Weber Bilby claim the first-known hamburger on a bun was served on Grandpa Oscar’s farm using a yeast bun on the Fourth of July. In 1995, Governor Frank Keating proclaimed that the first true hamburger on a bun was created and consumed in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1891; calling Tulsa, “The Real Birthplace of the Hamburger.”

Wikipedia: White Castle (restaurant)
White Castle was founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. The original location was the NW corner of First and Main. Cook Walt A. Anderson partnered with insurance man Edgar Waldo “Billy” A. Ingram to make White Castle into a chain of restaurants and market White Castle.
(...)
Anderson is credited with invention of the hamburger bun as well as “the kitchen as assembly line, and the cook as infinitely replaceable technician,” hence giving rise to the modern fast food phenomenon.

16 October 1902, Decatur (IL) Review, “The Odorous Hamburger,” pg. 3, col. 2:
Buns, too, are an important constituent of hamburger sandwiches. One Decatur bakery yesterday disposed of 5,000 buns. At this rate there must have been 25,000 buns consumed in the city yesterday.

21 August 1906, Mills County Tribune (Glenwood, IA), pg. 2, col. 3:
Hastings Fond of Hamburgers
M. M. Crewdson, the Glenwood lunch man, did a thriving business last week at Hastings selling his steaming-hot Hamburgers. In appeasing the appetites of the tournament visitors he used up 1100 buns and 102 pounds of meat.

11 November 1906, Logansport (IN) Journal, pg. 1, col. 4:
DEPARTMENT SPEEDS TO WAGON
The fire department was called last night to the corner of Third and Market streets where fire had started in the hamburger wagon operated there. The lad in charge of the bun foundry stated that in lighting the gasoline stove the grease caught fire and so he turned in the alarm.

18 November 1906, San Antonio (TX) Daily Light, pg. 4, col. 7:
SOLD 36,339
HAMBURGERS
AT LEAST THAT NUMBER OF BUNS WERE SUPPLIED BY ONE STEAM BAKERY
Attendants of the fair who watched the speedy process of dishing out hamburger sandwiches a ten cents per sand will probably be interested to know that one bakery in San Antonio furnished thirty-six thousand, thee hundred and thirty-nine hamburger buns to the different stands doing business on the fair grounds and on the streets of San Antonio proper.

These were furnished by the Richter Steam Bakery.

A hamburger bun is a biscuit of exaggerated size made out of dough intended primarily for light bread. A hamburger is something which looks very much like a sausage. This is inserted in the bun after it has been split with a stiletto and after you have put ten cents in sight of the man behind the counter.

23 October 1908, Goshen (IN) Weekly News-Times, “Dog Ate Pickles: Canine Posses Most Remarkable Appetite for Size,” pg. 4, col. 5:
The hamburger and buns had already disappeared, and all that was left were the onions.

4 December 1909, Goshen (IN) Daily Democrat, pg. 5, col. 3:
Goshen Catering Co. Restaurant.
(...)
Hot Hamburger on Buns ... 5c

Chronicling America
1 February 1916, Bryan (TX) Daily Eagle, pg. 4, col. 1 ad:
HOSTETTER’S COFFEE
(...)
Hot Hamburger Buns.

Google Books
April 1916, The Forum, “At the End of the Road” by Walter J. Muilenberg, pg. 584:
It was fine to get back on the old job again, I thought, as I slapped sizzling hamburgers between unbuttered buns.

Chronicling America
1 May 1916, University Missourian (Columbia, MO), pg. 4, col. 4:
BUNS
Just the thing for “Wiener Roasts”
After the wieners are roasted, hot and juicy, put them between buns and they will make the most delicious sandwiches imaginable. It’s just the same with hamburgers.
(...)
B. GENTSCH, Bakery

Google Books
18 December 1920, Topics (Indianapolis, IN), pg. 8, col. 4:
What is lost on the sandwich must be made up on some other article, for instance, the hamburger bun.

5 September 1921, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, pg. 14, col. 6 ad:
GOOTGELD’s BAKERY
(...)
... Sandwich Buns, Finger Rolls and Hamburger Buns, regular price 15c dozen, sale price, 2 dozen for ... 20c

Google Books
Back Home
By Anne Campbell
New York, NY: Barse & Hopkins
1926
Pg. C-13:
The quaint old stand where hamburger is fried
Before our eyes, and served us with a bun, ...

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, April 25, 2014 • Permalink