Chili hot dogs (or “chili dogs” or “chilidogs") and chili hamburgers (or “chili burgers” or “chiliburgers") continue to be popular. No one knows exactly where or when chili was added to hot dogs and hamburgers, but the foods became popular from the 1930s and 1940s, especially in California and Texas.
13 April 1913, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, “Have You Got the ‘Hot Dog’ Habit?” by James W. Meade, pg. 15:
Atlanta’s Greeks, the men who control the “hot dog” industry here, have old Julius Caesar and his compatriots skinned two ways from Sunday in the gentle art of lifting the coin. In five years gone by they have made the Sherman act blush with shame. They are the compeers of every other nation when it comes to forking “hot dogs” and spreading the mustard, chile, and the sauerkraut.
24 September 1933, Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, pg. 7-B, col. 1 classified ad:
MAN OR WOMAN open chili parlor world’s finest formula, CHILIBURGER, twenty years experience, price one dollar, money back GUARANTEE, write 401 Station C, Los Angeles.
20 December 1934, Van Nuys (CA) News, section 1, pg. 6 , col. 6 ad:
Saturday, Dec. 22
CHILI & BEANS
6478 Van Nuys Boulevard
At Hamlin St.
Los Angeles Public Library menu collection
Ken’s Kennels (1935 menu?—ed.), 2611 So. La Cienga Blvd., Los Angeles
26 February 1937, Corsicana (TX) Daily Sun, pg. 11, col. 5 ad:
“Chili” Hot Dogs
Like U Like ‘Em
1 December 1939, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. 26:
ON CHILLY NIGHT
IS WARM FEAST
If you have a hungry crowd of young people to feed some cold evening, ply them with chiliburgers. These big chili filled buns disappear in a hurry at a tableful of husky appetites.
(1 dozens large buns)
1/2 cup diced bacon
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups hamburger
1 cup cooked or canned kidney beans
1 cup tomatoes
Broil chopped bacon. Drain and cook onions and celery in the bacon drippings. Add meat and seasonings and brown well. Add remaining ingredients and simmer about 30 minutes, or until rather dry. Serve between large buns with coleslaw and dill pickles.
15 October 1940, Valley Evening Monitor (McAllen, TX), pg. 2, col. 8 ad:
Stop Here For A
(White Elephant Cafe Drive-In.—ed.)
13 October 1941, Lawton (OK) Constitution, pg. 27, col. 3 ad:
(Johnson’s Dairy Queens—ed.)
9 June 1948, Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), pg. 3 ad:
Cecil’s Snack Shack
22 July 1949, Washington Post, pg. C6:
For a picnic—a brawl—
Or a last minute party—
What is delicious—
And speedy—and hearty?
Chili hot dogs are all three, Petunia! Tuck heated frankfurters into toasted rolls—pour hot canned chili over them—and serve plenty of paper napkins to catch the drips!
25 September 1949, New York Herald Tribune, This Week, pg. 43, col. 2 ad:
DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK
IF YOU DON’T
SOME LIKE IT ON A HOT DOG…
Spoon a generous amount of
bubbling hot Hormel Chili over a
grilled frankfurter and bun. Live-
ly sauce replaces usual relish;
meat and beans make the chili
hot dog a real he-man favorite.
CHILI CON CARNE
October 1949, Chain Store Age, pg. 23 ,col. 1:
Fred Meyer Inc.
Portland (all stores)
Chili Weiner_is a popular fall and winter specialty. It is made by placing a frankfurter in split bun, covering it with chili sauce and (if desired by the customer) chopped onions.
28 September 1950, Nevada State Journal (Reno, NV), pg. 6, col. 1:
Chile dogs were served to the guests by Miss Brown, who was assisted by her mother and her sister.
6 May 1956, Los Angeles Times, pg. C10:
Teenagers will be delighted with another special after-the-party supper with baked bean sandwiches, banana grape sparkle, chili dogs and a hearty party macaroni salad.
10 July 1956, Los Angeles Times, pg. C1:
There are chile dogs at the Beach Club and Leaky Dogs at Lido Isle Club.
September 1956, Better Homes and Gardens, pg. 132, col. 4:
Chili Hot Dogs
Mighty good chili dolled up with franks and a can of tomato soup--
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon fat
1 1-pound can (2 cups) chili with beans
8 frankfurters, cut diagonally in 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup diced pepper
In a large skillet, lightly brown meat and onion in hot fat. Add chili, frankfurters, soup, chili sauce, and salt. Heat thoroughly. Add green pepper. Garnish with diagonal cuts of frankfurters and ripe-olive slices. Makes 8 servings.