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 July 15, 2004
Hot Dog Roll
The origin or the hot dog roll has never been recorded. According to myth, the hot dog roll was born at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. The hot dog vendor had run out of the white gloves that he usually gave to his customers. Improvising on the spot -- eureka -- the hot dog bun!

The problem with this story is the fact that the hot dog bun had been known for many years before 1904. Sausage sandwiches were cited in print in the 1840s and 1850s.

I discovered these following obituaries of Ignatz Frischman(n), of Coney Island. The combination of bread and meat (sausage sandwiches) goes back much further than Coney Island, but Coney Island certainly deserves some credit. These articles are a first step.

7 June 1843, Subterranean (NY), pg. 2:
If Hoboken were in any other state, and freed from the injurious effects of sword-fish liquors, dog sandwiches, and pilfering Jerseymen, it would be a Paradise.

28 October 1843, Subterranean (NY), pg. 125:
A Bologna sausage or two with a piece of bread would be of advantage to those whose appetite might lead them to partake of a spurious dog sandwich.

Google Books
Household Words
A Weekly Journal
conducted by Charles Dickens
Volume III
From March 29, 1851, to September 20, 1851.
London: Office, 16, Wellington Street North
"The Key of the Street"
Pg. 567:
Here are crowds of customers, hot and hungry from the Lyceum or Drury Lane, and clamorous for sandwiches. Ham sandwiches, beef sandwiches, German sausage sandwiches -- legions of sandwiches are cut and consumed. The cry is "mustard," and anon the coppers rattle, and payment is tendered and change given.

Google Books
by Frederika Bremer
London: Arthur Hall, Virtue & Co.
Pg. 201:
I accompanied them, being a little curious, and saw the tender mother take a large sausage sandwich out of her bag, which Adelgunda must eat standing.

Google Books
German Life and Manners
by Henry Mayhew
Vol. I
London: W. H. Allen & Co.
Pg. 269:
...the shop-boys and the chandler's-shop-keepers -- are wont to restrain their appetites, and their expenses, within the frugal bounds of a penny glass of beer and a penny sausage sandwich,...

24 October 1884, Grand Forks (ND) Daily Herald, pg. 4:
It was on a Coney Island boat. (...) The big elephant was blurred from his sight, and the gleaming houses on the island lost their interest for him,and he sighed when at last he saw the heartless damsel masticating a toothsome Frankfort sausage between two crusty pieces of bread and taking her place on a merry-go-round.

11 July 1887, San Jose (CA) Mercury News, "The Wienerwurst: The Man Who Sells the Delicious Morsel," pg. 4:
Then he shuts the can, pries open the lid of his big oval basket and whips out two slices of bread and a square bottle. With his knife he spreads out some horseradish on one of the slices, deposits thereon the wurst and then slaps on top of it the other slices of bread and hands it over, a kind of sandwich, with the ends of the wurst sticking out like amputated fingers and the horseradish oozing out all around under the pressure. It is eaten just like a sandwich, with much spluttering, because it is very hot, but it is a delicious morsel to the man who is filled up with beer or something stronger.
But one thing ruffles his temper, and that is to speak disparagingly of his wurst. When a purchaser, holding out a nickel, remarks, "Gimme some dog," a shade of sadness passes over his face.
-- (St. Louis, MO -- ed.) Globe-Democrat.

15 November 1887, Bismarck (ND) Daily Tribune, pg. 4:
For dinner she has probably consumed the second or third quart of beer since morning and a Frankfurter sausage sandwich.

5 March 1889, Columbus (Ohio) Enquirer-Sun, pg. 1?, col. 2:
A legend familiar to New Yorkers on some of these stands read: "Coney Island sausage sandwiches."

18 January 1890, Salem (OH) Daily News, pg. 5, col. 1:
29 January 1890, Knoxville (TN) Journal, pg. 7:
[From the Chicago News -- ed.]
"This class is the most common," said the detective. "See, he sells hash, bread and Frankfort sausage, red-hot."

"Vill de shentlemens haf some red-hots und brod?" asked the cook, as he placed his copper kettle on the curb. In a twinkling the table was set up. His wares were good. Hot, home-made hash, with good bread and butter, made excellent sandwiches for a hungry rounder or policeman. The red-hots were generally cut in two longitudinally and smothered in mustard. The merchant willingly told how he made his living.

"You see, frents, I sleeps me in de day-time, 'cause de beeblers what vants mine stock dey be sleepin, too. Mine woman, she cooks de hash ofery afternoon und I cook de red-hots vile I carries dem. Lots of fellows make money mit dis business. See, in dis part I keeps de hash, and here are de red-hots. Under is de lamp what keeps de blace hot. In dis box I carries the brod and mustard. I shust valk me round, und de peoples what is hungry dey buys. Dey be beoples vhat only work aroun' nights. Some be tieves, some gamblers, some policemen and odder ting. Oh yes, I make more money als vorkin' in a restaurant."

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.

7 March 1904, New York Times, pg. 12:
Frischman Won Fame and Fort-
une at Coney Island.

Ignatz Frischman, who is said to have been the introducer at Coney Island of the now popular "frankfurter roll," died on Saturday at his home, 182 Prospect Park West.

Mr. Frischman was fifty-three years old and a native of Austria. About twenty years ago he established a bakery at Coney Island. He observed that the crowds which flocked there as the island grew in popularity as a resort displayed a fondness for frankfurter sandwiches. In those days the frankfurter was served to the hungry pleasure seekers between two slices of bread. It occurred to Mr. Frischman that it would be more delectable tucked in the depths of a Vienna roll of a special size.

Acting on the idea he began baking rolls and supplying them to the frankfurter men, who, finding that they increased business, ordered more and more of them. Mr. Frischman, as a result, was soon turning out "frankfurter rolls" by the thousands from his ovens. For years his bake for the average Summer Sunday was 100,000 rolls, and he was known the length and breadth of the island. For some time Mr. Frischman had lived retired, his business, at Surf Avenue and West Twelfth Street, being carried on by his son. He was a member of the Shakespeare Lodge, F. and A.M., and a veteran of the old Gravesend Volunteer Fire Department. His wife and one son survive him.

7 March 1904, New York Sun, pg. 3, col. 4:
Ignatz Frischmann, the pioneer baker of Coney Island, died at his home 182 Prospect Park West on Saturday, in his fifty-fourth year. He was the man who invented the roll that made the frankfurter and the seaside Bowery famous. He was a veteran Volunteer fireman and a trustee of the Hebrew Church Society of Coney Island. He is survived by a widow and one son. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at his late residence. Interment will be at Washington Cemetery.

7 March 1904, New York Herald, pg. 1, col. 4:
Original Vienna Roll Man at Coney
Island Expires After a
Long Illness.

Ignatz Frischmann, fifty-three years old, died at his home, No. 182 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, Saturday afternoon, after a lingering illness. He was Coney Island's pioneer baker, and the man who invented the roll that made the frankfurter famous at that resort.

Mr. Frischmann was born in Austria, and on his arrival in this country established a baking business at the resort, becoming the firm friend and supporter of John T. McKane. Even at that early date the frankfurter was an institution at Coney Island. The shrewd baker saw a chance to make a hit, and invented the long, narrow--and what has since become very lean--Vienna roll. These he sold to the frankfurter men in small quantities for a while, and at a small profit, until they became the only means by which the frankfurter could be sold. From a daily sale of ten dozen during the rish season, the industry rose to a maximum sale of more than one hundred thousand rolls a day last summer.

Mr. Frischmann was at one time rated by Bradstreet as one of the wealthiest men doing business at the resort. He is survived by a widow and one son.

7 March 1904, Brooklyn Citizen, pg. 3, col. 2:
Ignatz Frischmann.
Ignatz Frischmann, the pioneer baker of Coney Island, died at him home No. 182 Prospect Park West on Saturday, in his 54th year. He was the man who invented the roll that made the frankfurter and the seaside Bowery famous. He was a veteran Volunteer fireman and a trustee of the Hebrew Church Society of Coney Island. He is survived by a widow and one son. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at the family residence. Interment will be at Washington Cemetery,

7 March 1904, Brooklyn Daily Times, pg. 2, col. 4:
Ignatz Frischman.
Ignatz Frischman, the pioneer baker of Coney Island, died at his home, 182 Prospect Park West, last Saturday. He was the inventor of the toothsome frankfurter sandwich that has helped to make Coney Island the most famous seaside resort on the Atlantic coast. Frischman was born in 1850, and launched his first business venture on the Bowery, Coney Island, many years ago. The island at that time was not famous for its foodstuffs, but when Frischman opened his modest little bakery and started the manufacture of a certain oblong roll that the frankfurter men needed in their business, "Coney" sprang into the limelight. Frankfurter stands were built in every nook and corner of the island, and Baker Frischman did a land office business. Visitors to Coney Island did not feel as though they had "done" the resort thoroughly without devouring a hot "frankfurter and." Mr. Frischman was a member of Shakespeare Lodge, F. and A.M., a trsutee of the Hebrew Church Society and a member of the Volunteer Fire Department. He will be buried in Washington Cemetery tomorrow.

7 March 1904, Fort Wayne (IN) News, pg. 1, col. 5:
Sandwich Inventor Dead.
NEW YORK, March 7. -- Ignatz Frischman, the inventor of the "Frankfurter roll," sometimes called "All Lots," who introduced the famous sandwich at Coney Island, is dead. He noticed that the people had especial fondness for frankfurter sandwiches. He baked a lot of rolls of special size and induced the frankfurter men to try them. They became a success, and night lunch men all over the country adopted the frankfurter roll. For several years his (Last line illegible -- ed.)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, July 15, 2004 • Permalink