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 December 01, 2005
Hamburger
New York City's German immigrants helped to introduce "Hamburger steak" (later simply "hamburger") to America.


Wikipedia: Hamburger
Although Hamburg, Germany is credited for the precursor to the hamburger, the origins of the first "modern" hamburger is often debated among scholars. Of much debate is what exactly constitutes the "modern" hamburger, although there is general consensus that it refers to a hamburger patty's placement in a hamburger bun (not just any piece of bread). The hamburger bun is said to have been invented in 1916 by J. Walter Anderson, a short-order cook, who went on to found White Castle in 1921. Before the bun, hamburgers are said to have been served between two pieces of bread. In fact, a ground beef patty was known as "Hamburger steak" (first mentioned in an American cookbook in 1891); when this was put between bread or in a bun it was called a "Hamburger sandwich."

One claim of inventing the Hamburger sandwich comes from Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, Wisconsin, USA. In 1885, he tried selling fried meatballs at the Outagamie County fair , but customers found them hard to eat while walking around the fair, so Nagreen flattened it and made it into a sandwich he called the "hamburger." (Seymour is home to the Hamburger Hall of Fame and the world's largest hamburger, weighing in at 8,266 pounds (3,749 kg).)

Hamburg, New York, USA (not to be confused with the previously mentioned German city of Hamburg) also claims credit for the invention of the hamburger. This village celebrates a "Burgerfest" every summer, held to mark the anniversary of the hamburger's creation at the Erie County Fair in 1885 by the Menches brothers.

Another claim is made by a small lunch counter in the town of New Haven, Connecticut, USA, named Louis' Lunch. It is sometimes credited with having invented this quick businessman's meal for busy office workers in 1900. Louis' Lunch was serving hamburgers from its closet-sized original location in the 1970s until it had to be re-located to 261-263 Crown Street to make room for a high-rise. Their burgers are made the same way they were since the beginning, which means toasted bread instead of a hamburger bun and no condiments; the only permitted garnishes are cheese, tomato, and onion.

Home of the Hamburger
Seymour, Wisconsin: The "Home of the Hamburger" is an idyllic community of about 3,000 located in the heart of dairy country 15 miles west of Green Bay. Burger Fest started in 1989 to celebrate the birth of the burger in Seymour in 1885.On August 4, 2001 an 8,266 pound burger was cooked up on the mammoth "Charlie Grill". You are cordially invited to Seymour to help us commemorate the "Birth of the Burger."

Louis Lunch
One day in the year 1900 a man dashed into a small New Haven luncheonette and asked for a quick meal that he could eat on the run. Louis Lassen, the establishment's owner, hurriedly sandwiched a broiled beef patty between two slices of bread and sent the customer on his way, so the story goes, with America's first hamburger.

What's Cooking America
According to The Food Chronology - A Food Lover's Compendium of Events and Anecdotes, from Prehistory to the Present, by James Trager:

In 1826, the first printed American menu is issued by New York's 5-year-old Delmonico's Restaurant at 494 Pearl Street and list as one of its most expensive dishes "hamburger steak" The "bill of fare" offer a "regular dinner" at 12 cents and lists hamburger steak at 10 cents.

30 November 1820, Palladium of Liberty (Morristown, NJ) "Antisceptic Power of Pyroligneous Acid," pg. 1, col. 3:
When beef is partially salted, and then steeped for a short time in pyroligneous acid, after being drained and cooked, it has the same flavor as Hamburg beef.

Electric Scotland
The Practice of Cookery
Adapted to the business of every-day life.
by Mrs. Dalgairns
14th edition
London and Glasgow: Richard Griffin and Company
1840
HAMBURG BEEF.
Put on in cold water a brisket of beef; when it boils skim it well; take out the beef, let it cool, and then rub it well with three handfuls of salt, and two tea-spoonfuls of saltpetre; beat it well with a rolling-pin for twenty or thirty minutes; put it into a pickling-tub, strew over it a small handful of salt, lit it lie four days; then turn it, put the same quantity of salt, and let if lie four days more, after which sew it into a piece of old linen, and let it hang twelve days in smoke.

The modern housewife
by Alexis Soyer (1809-1858)
New York, D. Appleton & Company; Philadelphia, G. S. Appleton
1850
Pg. 355 (Index):
Hamburgh Beef...122

Google Books
The Old Trunk and New Carpet-Bag
edited by Robert Bluebeard Kydd [poems -- ed.]
1872
Pg. 276:
And sour kraut I esteem a relish
My wine and Hamburg steak to embellish.

Chronicling America
22 July 1872, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), pg. 1, cols. 5-6:
THORPE'S.
This is a quiet way-side hostelrie, about fourteen miles from the city, just beyond San Bruno station on the San Jose railroad.
(...)
The specialties of Thorpe's are flowers and Hamburg steak.

19 January 1873, New York (NY) Times, "German Restaurants," pg. 5, col. 2:
Also, we can have a Hamburger steak, which is simply a beefsteak redeemed from its original toughness by being mashed into mince-meat and then formed into a conglomerated mass. This is very appetizing, but conscience compels us to state that it is inferior to the genuine article, which can also be had here in a very satisfactory condition of tenderness.

Google Books
The Prairie Schooner
by William Francis Hooker
Chicago: Saul Brothers
1918
Pg. 80:
"Yes," he said, "we put old Tex (a long-horn bull) out of his starving misery and the boys have found his liver to be O. K. Maybe you can give us a liver pie."
Pg. 81:
"Old Texas will also be on the menu in several places, for his tenderloin looks good, and there are a few steaks which, when properly treated with a maul on the top of a stump, will be as good as you will get in a 'Frisco water front lodging, and better than any of you fellows have had since we hit the drifts."

I have eaten meals that mother used to cook, I've been famished during a sea voyage ,and devoured a Norwegian sailor's pea soup; I've participated in several real banquets in New York; I've dined at Delmonico's and at Sherry's, at Young's in Boston, and I've feasted in a circus cook tent; but my Christmas dinner in the foothills of Wyoming in 1874, under the circumstances I have but faintly described, still is a fond memory and holds the record as the best meal I ever ate. It was as follows:

MENU
Marrowbone Soup -- "Tex"
Water Cress
Beef Stew -- "Tex"
Hamburg Steak -- "Tex"
Tenderloin Steak -- "Tex"
Roast Beef -- "Tex"
Planked Porterhouse Steak -- "Tex"

18 October 1875, Fort Wayne (IN) Daily Sentinel, pg. 4, col. 2:
Free Lunch.
Go to Wieman's for your celebrated Hamburg steak.

11 December 1875, Cincinnati (OH) Daily Gazette, pg. 4:
We can buy it for 'mince-meat,' or course; but out of that amount we get a steak or two -- we have to pound it some to make it tender! -- and sometimes we have what the Germans call Hamburger steak, that is, the meat chopped fine like sausage, flavored delicately with onions, and broiled rapidly;...

11 January 1876, Georgia Weekly Telegraph & Georgia Journal & Messenger (Macon, GA), pg. 4?, col. 1:
[Story from Chicago -- ed.]
...and sometimes we have what the Germans call a Hamburger steak -- that is the meat chopped fine like sausage, flavored with onions, and broiled rapidly;...

19 July 1881, New Haven (CT) Evening Register, pg. 1:
They permitted this, and he astonished Crump, the steward, with an order for beefsteak, poached egg and a chopped beef sandwich.

27 April 1883, The Sun (New York, NY), pg. 3, col. 3:
NOT EATEN ON THE PREMISES.
Hamburg Steaks and Pork Chops which Cost but Little and Are in Great Demand.
"Give me six Hamburgers, four chops, half a pound of sliced ham and five cents' worth of pickles," said a bareheaded girl, as she entered a small store that stands near a towering cigar factory on Second Avenue.
(...)
"Those flat, brown meat cakes on that dish there are Hamburg steaks; the people call them 'Hamburgers.' They are made from raw meat chopped up with onions and spices, and are very good."

29 April 1883, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, pg. 11:
NOT EATEN ON THE PREMISES.
Hamburg Steaks and Pork Chops
Which Cost but Little and
Are in Great Demand.

New York Sun.
(...)
"Give me six Hamburgers, four chops, half a pound of sliced ham and five cents' worth of pickles," said a bareheaded girl, as she entered a small store that stands near a towering cigar factory on Second Avenue.
(...)
"Those flat, brown meat cakes on that dish there are Hamburg steaks; the people call them 'Hamburgers.' They are made from raw meat chopped up with onions and spices, and are very good."

2 May 1883, Perry (Iowa) Pilot, pg. 2:
HAMBURG STEAK. -- Cut or pound round steak to make it tender, spread it with fried onions, fold, pound again and beat; this is, for those who like onions, a delicious breakfast dish, and is easily prepared. In greasing the gridiron for broiling, rub with a bit of leaf fat; this is always well to do -- it does not mar the flavor, and it does not waste as butter does.

October 1883, The Caterer and Household Magazine, pg. 76, col. 1:
"I should like a recipe for 'Hamburger steak,' a dish I am very fond of, but I must confess have not been successful in preparing."
(...)(Col. 2 -- ed.)
BROILED HAMBURG STEAKS.
Or, instead of frying, place your steaks upon a gridiron or double wire broiler, well greased, and broil them on both sides; place them on a hot dish, and pour over them melted butter seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper. This mixture of meat is also often spread upon slices of bread, with butter in which a spoonful of dry mustard has been mixed, and used as a sandwich, or it may be served raw and cold with slices of Vienna bread spread with gilt-edged butter.

Feeding America
Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book
by Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln
Boston: Roberts Brothers
1884
Pg. 224:
Hamburgh Steak. -- Pound a slice of round steak enough to break the fibre. Fry two or three onions, minced fine, in butter until slightly browned. Spread the onions over the meat, fold the ends of the meat together, and pound again, to keep the onions in the middle. Broil two or three minutes. Spread with butter, salt, and pepper.

August 1885, The Caterer and Household Magazine, pg. 435, col. 1:
"Innominatus" writes desiring the best mode of cooking a Hamburger Steak.

This dish, when well prepared, is, as our correspondent evidently knows, a dish not to be despised. Yet, as he says, the various cook-books, from Francatelli down, are generally silent regarding the mode of its preparation. We have tried a Hamburger cooked in the following method and know of no manner in which it can be improved.

A HAMBURGER STEAK.
In the first place the steak itself must be good. Any economy practiced in this respect toward the Hamburger will be just as fatal to its excellence as to that of any other mode of cooking a steak. A good sirloin or a good rump, entirely free from any stringiness, should be used, and the proportion of fat, to lean, to please most tastes would probably be one fourth, or perhaps a little less, of the former and three-fourths of the latter. The meat should be minced very finely, and seasoned thus: For each half-pound of the meat add two teaspoonfuls of finely-minced onion, a half of a clove of garlic also chopped very fine, and pepper and salt, a half a teaspoonful of each of the two latter would probably suit most palates. After the seasoning is thoroughly mixed through it, the meat is to be formed into rather thin cakes and fried, on both sides, in butter, the pan, of course, being thoroughly heated before the meat is put in; when done, dish up and serve with the gravy poured over it, garnishing with Lyonnaise potatoes. Many persons may object to the addition of garlic and onion, and the steak can, of course, be prepared without them; yet in that case it is hardly entitled to the name of Hamburger.

23 April 1887, Newark (Ohio) Daily Advocate, pg. 3, col. 7:
BEEFSTEAK JOHN.
ONE OF THE ODDEST PLACES TO BE
FOUND IN NEW YORK.

An Eating House Where Good Fare is Given
to Hungry Folks at Remarkably Cheap
Rates. But it Requires Curious Expe-
dients to Manage the Business.

NEW YORK, April 20. -- "Walk right in, old man, we've got something for you!" It was a tottering chap of seventy or so who was thus hailed, and the speaker stood in the open doorway of a Bowery restaurant. A considerable share of the traffic in this famous street, good and bad, is done by portal solicitation, from the clothing store to the dime museum; but this time the place was a
cheap eating house, and I wondered at it. The old man entered, and I followed him in.

"What you want," said the waiter who had half-seriously and half jocosely enticed the customer in, "is a Hamburger steak."

"Can I eat it?" was the nervous query.

"Can a kitten lap milk?" was the vociferous response.

We were in a locally noted establishment -- one worth description. In war times, a keen and thrifty Switzer, whose first name was John, opened a little place on the Bowery for the sale of pork and beans; and by giving more beans for less money than anybody else he acquired reputation, money and the nickname of "Pork-and-beans-John." Two or three years after the war, the demand for
beans having subsided, John changed his location and his bill of fare; and public opinion, or whatever it may be called, change his nickname. He moved a few blocks up the Bowery and devoted his entire attention to broiling beefsteaks at low rated for hungry folks. John thought a steady diet of beefsteak was good enough for anybody, and he didn't pretend to cook anything else, except
the few vegetables that went with the meat. Therefore, forgeting (sic) and putting altogether aside the bean period and its accompaniments, the Bowery fastened upon the steak broiler the name of Beefsteak John, and by that name has the Swiss been known ever since.
(...)
There is one inviolate beefsteak rule here. Every steak is cooked with onions. Appeal and protest make no difference. The steak must and shall be fried with onions, and a little wad of that odoriferous vegetable, hot and greasy, has to be served on the plate with the piece of meat. "Steak AND onions" is the chief article sold here, and it can't be varied to "steak, with an option of onions." Nevertheless, a modification very remarkable has been made by Beefsteak John in his business, and that was what the old man's attention was called to by the puller-in. A steak that can be sold at a profit for ten cents has some peculiarities of its own that distinguish it from a Delmonico tenderloin, and as John's patrons get along in years they are no longer able to chew up the leathery food. As an entire steak, of even the limited size known in this restaurant, cannot well be swallowed whole, the customers had to drop off, one after another, as they grew toothless. To supply a long-felt want Beefsteak John lately introduced the Hamburger steak. That is a formation of chopped beef, pressed into the shape of a steak, and fried brown. The dental damage done in days gone by or feared today may be estimated from John's statement that he sells and his guests devour 300 pounds of Hamburg steak daily, and his old original beefsteak trade has fallen off sadly. He feeds about 1,800 persons each day, and he looks prosperous.

Feeding America
"Aunt Babette's" Cook Book
by Aunt Babette
Cincinnati: Block Publishing and Printing Company
1889
Pg. 56:
HAMBURGER STEAK
Is made of round steak chopped extremely fine and seasoned with salt and pepper. You may grate in part of an onion or fry with onions. For invalids, scrape the steak instead of chopping. Very fine indeed.

8 November 1890, Lowell (MA) Sun, pg. 2, col. 1:
8 November 1890, Grand Forks (ND) Daily Herald, pg. 3:
Cheap Wall Street Lunches.
With the fall weather the Hamburger sausage has made its appearance in Wall street. The junior clerks and messenger boys who work in that section of the city patronize street lunches extensively. In summer fruit, cake and sandwiches seem to be very popular, but with the cooler temperature the sausages attain great vogue. They are dispensed from steamers in which they are kept hot, and are served in these long, narrow rolls, with, if the purchaser desires, a dash of mustard. And really they are very good. I have noticed that they are bought by men who evidently are not forced to get them on the score of economy, and the number carried away by office boys when they have finished their own is somewhat striking. -- New York Telegram.

Chronicling America
19 April 1891, The Sun (New York, NY), pg. 2, col. 5:
The Second Battery's Beefsteak Dinner.
The members of the Second Battery, S. N. Y. N. Y., entertained their friends yesterday at a beefsteak dinner at their armory, Seventh avenue and Fifty-second street. The feast was given to celebrate the Thirtieth anniversary of the enlistment of the battery. Beer kegs were stood on end at the west end of the armory, and from these improvised tables the soldiers and their guests ate beefsteak sandwiches and drank beer.

11 August 1892, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, pg. 7, col. 2:
ERNEST KNEW THE ROPES.
He is Now a Restaurant Cashier, but Was Once an English Lawyer.
Ernest Thompson, the cashier of Roland's restaurant on lower Fulton street, and John Levy, a sturdy young ice man, were each fined $3 by Justice Haggerty in the Adams street court this morning, for fighting in the street.
(...) The fight was a sequel to a row with a waiter in the restaurant over a beefsteak sandwich.

19 September 1892, The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), "Our Picayunes," pg. 4, col. 1:
The Hamburg raw meat sandwich and new beer must go. The Hamburgers will try to live on boiled water while microbes are on the promenade.

25 April 1893, Syracuse (NY) Evening Herald, pg. 6, col. 2:
A Hamburg steak is very nice with this sauce. As every good housekeeper should know, a Hamburg steak is not a steak at all, but a mince of beef moulded in flat balls, which are either fried or broiled, but must in any case be kept rare. It is an acceptable way in which to dispose of the tough end of a porter house steak, which should never be allowed to come on the table with the rest of the steak, but should be either minced for Hamburg balls or used in a stew. To season a pound and a half of Hamburg steak add a teaspoonful of onion juice, a liberal teaspoonful of salt and a saltspoonful of pepper. The meat must be minced as fine as sausage meat, and there should be neither fat nor sinews with it. A chopped onion minced very fine or a good sized shallot may take the place of the onion juice. The minced beef may now be moulded into little cakes and broiled, or, if you prefer, dipped into the yolk of egg and bread crumbs, and fried brown. This will keep it rare in the centre, as it should be. Indeed, a Hamburg steak is sometimes served at gentleman's suppers without cooking. It must then be made of the tenderest meat and garnished with anchovies, capers and parsley ,and highly seasoned. This practice of eating raw beef however, is not now recommended by physicians as it formerly was, when mothers often gave little children well seasoned scraped beef as a tonic.

25 July 1893, Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, pg. 3, col. 4:
Hamburger Sandwiches.
A new attraction has been secured by Parry & Evans at the Wieland saloon, their lunch counter having been opened, over which Tom Fraker is presiding. Tom prides himself on his ability to make hamburger sandwiches, and judging from what those who have tried them say he is justified in claiming that he can serve a lunch that would tickle the palate of an epicurean. He also keeps tomales always on hand and asks only that you give him one trial, being satisfied that the superiority of the lunch will hold your custom.

25 August 1893, Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, pg. 3, col. 5:
Tom Fraker's celebrated Hamburger steak sandwiches are always on hand to replenish an empty stomach and even fortify Satan himself.

3 February 1894, Omaha (NE) World Herald, pg. 1:
Yesterday they maintained their record for liberality by sending up a big platter of steaming hot hamburger sausage.

8 April 1894, Newark (OH) Sunday Advocate, pg. 3, col. 7:
Recipe For Hamburg Steak.
Chop round steak fine and season with salt; make into patties; brush with white of an egg; fry in butter in spider. At the meat market you can often get the steak already chopped.

Chronicling America
12 April 1894, Shiner (TX) Gazette, pg. 8, col. 2:
Hamburger steak sandwiches every day in the week at Barny's saloon Moulton.

15 April 1894, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, "Viands at the Curb: Hungry People Fed by the Nocturnal Sandwich Wagon," pg. 44:
Now the sandwich wagon is considered as much of an institution in Chicago as the baked potato or fried fish stands are of the English cities.
(...)
You can have fried chicken for 15 cents. Ham and eggs, two eggs, and Swiss cheese and Hamburger steak sandwiches are 10 cents each, and plain ham and a single egg sandwich are each listed at 5 cents.

Chronicling America
23 May 1894, Roanoke (VA) Times, pg. 5, col. 4 ad:
SANDWICHES.
(...)
Hamburger Steak.
(The Concordia. -- ed.)

23 July 1894, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, pg. 7, cols. 3-4:
ODORS OF THE ONION.
A New Night Feature of City Life.
Breezes Pregnant With the Hamburger.
How Curbstone Chefs Dispense Fragrant Food From Their Little Carts.

"They love darkness whose deeds are evil," is probably as good a reason as any why Hamburg steaks are cooked and eaten on the streets at night.
(...)
FLOPPING TWO HAMBURGERS AT THE SAME TIME. (Caption -- ed.)
(...)
One young man who can do the frying-pan flop with both hands at the same time said that on Fourth of July night he sold 200 Hamburg steak sandwiches, in addition to a phenomenal run on ham and eggs.
(...)
There is no one is sight as he orders a Hamburg sandwich, but before that dainty is well under way the gentleman has a large and enthusiastic constituency at his back.

23 September 1894, Los Angeles (CA) Times, "Push-cart Purveyors Who Flourish at Night," pg. 19:
However, here tamales, both Texas and Spanish, trotters, ham, egg and hamburger steak sandwiches, and a bill of fare including a dozen different eatables, are offered for sale.

Chronicling America
15 September 1895, Washington (DC) Times, pt. 2, pg. 12, col. 1:
Mike's face looked like a Hamburger sandwich.

29 October 1895, Hawaiian Gazette (Honolulu, Hawaii). pg. 7, col. 1:
For the differentiation of the sandwich I suggest the following materials:
THE STAPLE, BREAD. -- White, graham, black or rye, whole wheat, Boston brown bread; biscuits, rolls, scones; wafers, crackers, saltines; dry toast; gingerbread toasted and buttered.
THE FILLING, meats. -- Ham, tongue, poultry, corned beef, veal, sausage, Hamburger steak (raw or cooked), kidneys, lamb, raw scraped beef (salted, excellent for invalids and dyspeptics).
(...)
A word as to style, a prime factor in the success of the sandwich. With the exception of boiled ham, chicken, turkey, sardines and raw oysters, the meats and fish should always be chopped or pounded, as they can thus be seasoned with more variety.

22 February 1896, Portsmouth (OH) Times, pg. 1, col. 7:
"Well, I'll be -- If I ever eat another beef steak sandwich before going to bed."

7 March 1896, Fort Wayne (IN) Evening Post, pg. 10, col. 3:
Fried Oysters, Liver, Hamburger Sandwiches, Roast Beef, only a few of the good things at the Board of Trade.

5 July 1896, Chicago (IL) Tribune, "In a 'Sandwich Car,'" pg. 16, col. 4:
A distinguished favorite, only five cents, is Hamburger steak sandwiches, the meat for which is kept ready in small patties and "cooked while you wait" on the gasoline range.

Chronicling America
5 September 1896, Tombstone (AZ) Prospector, pg. 3, col. 3:
Those desiring hot pies, meat pies, hot tomales, weiner-wurst, hamburger sandwiches, hot cakes, roasted corn, hokey pokey, fried Chili or anything else within the bounds of reason can have in a moment's notice.

22 October 1896, Kansas City (MO) Star, "Rare Beefsteak Sandwiches," pg. 5:
From the American Kitchen Magazine.
Rare beefsteak chopped fine and seasoned with salt and pepper is an excellent filling for sandwiches. It may also be moistened very slightly with melted butter and shaped into balls to serve cold. Either of these methods is preferable to warming, if over. If it must be reheated, however, it should be done very quickly.

Chronicling America
20 March 1897, (Maysville, KY), pg. 3, col. 2:
At 12 o'clock Friday night Jailer Bitzer ordered hamburger sandwiches for the two men.

27 November 1897, Fort Wayne (IN) Gazette, pg. 1, col. 3:
Officer Murphy said to the board that Officer Spillner came to him, the former going off his beat, a week ago last night, and had some Hamburger steak and bread, and invited him to go into the saloon and partake of the lunch.

9 January 1898, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, "Annual Feed of Philadelphia's Unique Beefsteak Club," pg. 7:
At the foot of the broad stairway leading to the basement was a scene to be witnessed in Philadelphia but once in a twelvemonth, and then only at the dinners of the Beefsteak Club. At thirty or more little round tables were seated one hundred men, each with a chunk of beefsteak or a beefsteak sandwich in his hand.

9 August 1898, Grand Rapids (MI) Herald, pg. 8:
During my wanderings I had occasion to visit the neighboring city of Detroit.
(...)
I never saw such a list of sandwiches as were offered to the visitors. There were plain sandwiches, ham, beef, bologna, chicken, hamburger and cheese. They were strong on the last named variety and the cheese returned the favor, and was strong on the sandwiches.

15 August 1898, Omaha (NE) World Herald, pg.7:
WANTED -- Two good Coney Island red hot or hamburger sausage men, must be quick and good spieler; four jinrikasha men.

8 September 1898. Butte (MT) Weekly Miner, pg. 10:
Thomas called on Mary, and after the can had been to the saloon and back several times Mary suggested that she "mought be able to elucidate a few bites of chicken sandwiches." Thomas asked if a nice ham sandwich wouldn't do, and they finally compromised on hamburger. When Thomas came back to the house with it the meat bore a dainty dressing of chopped onions, and Thomas carefully scraped this from his sandwich. But not so Mary. She said she intended to eat her onions.
(...)
-- (St. Louis, MO -- ed.) Globe-Democrat.

19 August 1898, St. Louis (MO) Republic, pg. 11:
EPH HOUSTON HAS
QUIT POLITICS.
CHIEF EAGLE DECLARES THERE IS
MORE MONEY IN THE LUNCH
STAND BUSINESS.
(...)
Ephraim Houston, Chief Eagle of the Eagle's Nest, man Friday to Chris Schawacker and idol of black face Republicanism in the Fifth ward, has withdrawn from active participation in politics to pander more extensively to the public taste for fried chicken, hamburgers and other lunch stand delicacies.

Google Books
California Revisited 1858-1897
by T. S. Kenderline
Doylestown, PA: Doylestown Publishing Company
1898
Pg. 171:
"Hamburger’s," a sandwich with a filling of chipped meat and onions...

Google Books
A Handbook of Invalid Cooking
For the use of nurses in training schools, nurses in private practice and others who care for the sick
by Mary A, Boland
New York: The Century Co.
1898
Pg. 172:
HAMBURG STEAK. No. 1
(SCRAPED BEEF)
Cut a piece of tender steak half an inch thick. Lay it on a meat-board, and with a sharp knife scrape off the soft part until there is nothing left but the tough ,stringy fibers. Season this pulp with salt and pepper, make it into little flat, round cakes half an inch thick, and broil them two minutes. Serve on rounds of buttered toast. This is a safe and dainty way to prepare steak for one who is just beginning to eat meat. When it is not convenient to have glowing coals, these meat-cakes may be broiled in a very hot omelet-pan.
Pg. 173:
HAMBURG STEAK. No. 2
Pound a thin piece of beefsteak until the fibers are broken; season it with salt and pepper, fold and pound again; then broil it three or four minutes over a clear hot fire. Serve at once.

16 December 1898, Bismarck (ND) Daily Tribune, pg. 3:
Hamburg sandwich....15
Hamburg steak....35
Hamburg steak, with eggs....50

City Directory for Dallas, TX - Worley's 1900 Directory (John F. Worley and Co.), pg. 410, col. 2:
Stoneham William R., hamburger stand
375 1/2 Main r. 182 Cochran

1 August 1900, Eau Claire (WI) Evening Free Press, pg. 2, col. 3:
Just an Ordinary Steak.
"When in Hamburg, we supposed we must do as the Hamburgers did, so at our first meal there we asked for Hamburg steak," said the woman. "Besides, we wanted to see how that viand would taste upon its native heath, anyway. But to all our requests, couched in our best scholastic German, the waiter shook his head. Like many another prophet, the Hamburg steak was apparently without honor in its own country. At all events, our waiter hadn't heard of it. "Oh, well," we said, "just bring us an ordinary beef steak. But, lo and behold, when the meat was served there it was all chopped up and made into small cakes -- what Americans call, in fact, "Hamburg steak." To Hamburgers a Hamburg steak was an "ordinary steak." -- New York Sun.

27 January 1901, Dallas (TX) Morning News, pg. 10:
If the affairs of a business man were conducted along such lines his commercial rating would drop below that of a hamburger stand.

10 June 1901, Los Angeles (CA) Times, pg. 3:
Customer tries to buy a hamburger sandwich from a lunch wagon on credit.

25 September 1901, Omaha (NE) Morning World-Herald, pg. 3:
Here, it is claimed, the police have been known to even mix up with the crowd and to celebrate their hamburger sandwiches with talks, both profane and vulgar.

13 October 1901, Decatur (IL) Daily Review, pg. 2, col. 1:
The carnival came to a close gradually and by 10 o'clock Saturday night the only people doing carnival business were the men with hot weiners and hamburger. These people actually enjoyed a rush from 5 till 11 o'clock, and it proved to be one of the most profitable evenings of the week for them. About 10 o'clock, in order to close out, some of them began cutting rates. Two sandwiches were offered for a nickel.

Google Books
The Glen V. Mills Directory Company's
University of Michigan Directory
November 1902

Ann Arbor, MI: Hawaii Club, University of Michigan
1902
Pg. 147:
Frost's Lunch Wagon
HAMBURGERS, EGG SANDWICHES and HOT DOGS.

5 May 1902, Des Moines (Iowa) Daily News, pg. 6, col. 2:
A hamburger sandwich was the cause of a sanguinary melee at a lunch wagon on East Fifth street Saturday afternoon.

28 June 1902, Davenport (Iowa) Republican, pg. 7, col. 2:
One Hamburger sandwich man disposed of 400 buns to hungry pedestrians Thursday, and yet he remarked that business was very dull.

14 October 1902, Decatur (IL) Daily Review, pg. 1, col. 7:
Hamburger stands and "knock the baby down" alleys enough for three carnivals.

16 October 1902, Decatur (IL) Daily Review, pg. 3, col. 2:
The Odorous
Hamburger...
It Looks Good, Smells
Good and By Gum It Is
Good -- and Everybody
Eats It.

Everybody asks himself or his neighbor how the hamburger steak stands manage to pay ground rent and other expenses. They are legion and it would seem that competition must drive them all out of business. If you should happen along the street between 11 and 12 o'clock at night the question is answered. It is then you see the hamburger steak men in action. The throngs have disappeared and there is no more crowding and jamming on the sidewalks but there are plenty of people that are still out. The hamburger steak appetite is raging and the vendor of the odorous viand is the busiest man in town.

"They smell good they taste good and by gum they are good," excites one dealer as he deftly turns the steaks on the griddle, splits the buns and slices the onions. Everybody apparently accepts the statement as true to the letter and a row of people are waiting their turn.

EAT IT LIKE HASH.

No one stops to worry about the composition of the steak. It may be dessicated dog, pulverized mule of ground prime beef, it is all the same. It smells good, tastes good, and by gum, it is good.

Who eats hamburger sandwiches? The man who is trying to satisfy his appetite with a five-cent meal you may say if you were never along the hamburger avenue at the dead hour of midnight. Nay, nay, my dear. The hamburger appetite is not respected of persons or purses. It falls upon rich and poor, high and low alike. The man who's munching a hamburger steak at your side may have had a three-dollar beef steak for supper and was probably mighty particular about how it was cooked or maybe he had no supper at all. His gastric machinery may have been made clamorous by various and sundry alcoholic stimulants or it may be normal hunger from the strenuous life and hard work of the carnival.

WANT ALL THAT'S COMING.

"Put that piece of onion on, I'm paying for that onion," called a bon vivant when the sandwich man in his haste (Illegible -- ed.) of the onion get away. "A little more onion please, another slice yet I can't sleep without onion," he urges and the sandwich grows corpulent with onion.

"Two more hamburgers," calls a newcomer, a young man with a lady on his arm. They have just come from a dance for refreshments of a substantial sort. Here is a substantial business man and there is another, chewing hamburger sandwiches as if it were the most important business of their lives.

"Damn (Illegible word -- ed.) I c'n get home without some hamburger," hiccoughs one of a party of roysterers. The crowd is in sympathy with the sentiment, a halt is called and hamburger sandwich is ordered for everybody. And so it goes till long after midnight. The saloons close, merrymakers go home, the streets become deserted and the hamburger man takes a well earned rest.

Does the hamburger man do any business? Fifty pounds of the raw steak a day is a fair order for a man with a good location. It is not necessary to try to figure how many sandwiches this will make. The meat is furnished by the local packers for the most part.

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. At 11 o'clock last night the bake shops were besieged for buns. Today they scarcely expect to supply the demand.

1 October 1903, Fort Worth (TX) Telegram, pg. 9:
I have it on the word of the waiter himself, that 16 of these lunchers spilled their coffee inside their shirts and that the other five each swallowed a hot hamburger sandwich whole without even putting salt on it.

5 February 1904, Salt Lake Herald (Salt Lake City, UT), pg. 4, col. 3:
Heads means he omits the midnight lunch and takes a car home. Tails signifies that he visits the lunch wagon at the corner, absorbs a hamburger sandwich and walks home. Tails won a couple of nights ago and he purchased the hamburger.

16 June 1904, San Francisco (CA) Call, pg. 7, col. 2:
"Gimme a hamburger sandwich an' make it rare," said James E. Watkins (colored) to an itinerant caterer at Fourth and Market.

28 June 1904, Decatur (IL) Herald, "The [July -- ed.] Fourth in Maroa," pg. 2, col. 5:
These attractions will include everything from the hamburger stand to the merry-go-round and the Japanese swing.

4 July 1904, Decatur (IL) Daily Review, pg.10, col. 6:
The streets are crowded with fakirs, hamburger stands, etc.

22 November 1904, Olympia (WA) Record, pg. 4:
Hamburger sandwiches at the "Gem."

22 December 1904, Richwood (OH) Gazette, pg. 4, col. 1 ad:
The Club House
(...)
Hot Hamburg Sandwiches
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, December 01, 2005 • Permalink