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In 1932, Quick Lunch, now Famous Lunch, opened its doors for the first time at 111 Congress Street in Troy, NY. On August 28, 1958, however, an event would change the name forever.  A local marine, twenty-year-old Corporal Gordon Gundrum, stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, just had to have his Troy hot dogs. Several dozen dogs were flown to the embassy by KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, and were served for lunch that day to Gundrum and the U.S. Ambassador at his 54th birthday celebration. The news of “Operation Hot Dogs” made the national and local newspapers, and so the Quick Lunch became “World Famous.” Today, this historic hot dog shop still lives up to the famous name. Today, Famous Lunch sends hot dogs via FedEx to states throughout the U.S.A. and around the world. Some people will go to any length to satisfy their hunger for a “Famous Hot Dog.”


Hot dogs are also known as franks, weenies, red hots, frankfurters, and wieners. It’s said the term "hot dog" was used as an exclamation on the banners above the vendors at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.


Another explanation credits the name to a turn-of-the-century sports cartoonist, T. A. Dorgan, who often used talking sausages in his drawings.  He implied that sleazy sausages were made with unsavory ingredients like dog meat. Whether this is where the name “hot dog” came from or not, the implication that frankfurters were made using poodles and dachshunds becomes so prevalent that the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce banned the use of the term in 1913 by any of the vendors in the vicinity of Coney Island boardwalk, where hot dogs were officially called “Coney Island Hot.”


What was happening in the world when Famous Lunch opened in 1932?

-Hot dogs were a nickel
-Milk was 44 cents a gallon
-A loaf of bread cost 6 cents
-A gallon of gas costs 10 cents
-A new car cost $500
-The parking meter, Polaroid Glass camera, and Zippo Lighter were invented
-The average family income was $1,500 a year
-You could buy a mattress and box spring for $19.95
-Amelia Earhart just crossed the Atlantic on a solo flight
-The Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. baby was kidnapped
-Herbert Hoover was President, but Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected in November by a landslide. He offered his “New Deal” that year!
-The country was deep in the grips of the Great Depression with one-quarter of the workforce with no job
-New York Yankees’ Lou Gehrig hit 4 straight home runs, tying the record and the team went on to win the 29th World Series against the Chicago Cubs
-Rin Tin Tin died
-Buck Rogers was aired on CBS Radio
-Gary Cooper’s "A Farewell Arms" was at the movies
-Hemingway’s “Death in the Afternoon” was published
-Born this year were Elizabeth Taylor, Edward Kennedy, Anthony Perkins, Johnny Cash, and former NYS Governor Mario Cuomo
-Radio City Music Hall in New York City opened
-First Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, New York
-Atom was split for the first time

Writing courtesy of Don Rittner, patron for 50 years!

A little piece of our history.

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