The Hamburger Through Time

The Hamburger Through Time

A short history of the greatest American food icon

The Hamburger Through Time(cont.)

1931»

1948»

1957»

1961»

1961»

1924 By topping a patty with cheese, Lionel Sternberger creates the cheeseburger at the Rite Spot Restaurant in Pasadena, California.

«1931 Cartoonist Elzie Crisler Segar introduces the hamburger-obsessed J. Wellington Wimpy to the comic strip Popeye and helps cement the hamburger as an American pop-culture phenomenon.

«1948 The McDonald brothers shut down their successful San Bernardino, California, barbecue and burger drive-in to streamline the restaurant. They reinvent their drive-through system, focus only on burgers and fries, and reopen to instant success. Two years later, they begin advertising their sales in neon outside their restaurant with signs reading “Over 1 million sold.”

1948 Harry and Esther Snyder open the first In-N-Out burger stand in Baldwin Park, California. Harry installs a two-way speaker system at the location and creates the drive-through as we know it.

1950 New York’s famous ‘21’ Club Burger—the first “haute” burger, made with duck fat and fennel seed—debuts. It costs $2.75; today it sells for $30.

1951 Robert O. Peterson opens the first Jack in the Box restaurant in San Diego, California.

1954 Ray Kroc comes across the McDonald brothers’ restaurant in San Bernardino, California, and talks the brothers into signing him on as a business partner. A year later, McDonald’s first franchise opens in Des Plaines, Illinois. The franchising fee was $950. Today it’s $45,000.

1954 Burger King is founded in Miami by James McLamore and David Edgerton.

1956 Successful fast-food restaurateur Carl Karcher opens the first two Carl’s Jr. restaurants in Anaheim and Brea, California.

«1957 Noticing his customers were eating at a rival restaurant for its “bigger burger,” James McLamore, Burger King cofounder, launches the Whopper, the first signature burger from a fast-food chain.

«1961 White Castle sells its 1 billionth burger.

«1961 The McDonald brothers sell the business to Ray Kroc for $2.7 million. McDonald’s Hamburger University’s first class graduates.