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A 16-Year-Old Is Credited With Inventing The Cheeseburger At His Dad’s Store In 1926

National Cheeseburger Day on September 18th honors America’s favorite sandwich with a slice of cheese.
  • The hamburger gained national recognition at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair when the New York Tribune referred to the hamburger as “the innovation of a food vendor on the pike”.
  • 1921 – An American food icon, White Castle, opens its doors for the first time in Wichita, Kansas.
  • 1926 – Lionel Sternberger flips the cheeseburger. A teen working in his dad’s sandwich shop adds cheese to a burger and creates a sensation!
  • 1928 – O’Dell’s restaurant, a Los Angeles favorite, charges 25 cents for a cheeseburger.
  • 1935 – Humpty-Dumpty’s, a Denver, Colorado drive-through, makes an unsuccessful attempt to trademark the word “cheeseburger.”
  • 1977 – McDonald’s pays $1 million in damages to TV producers Sid and Marty Kroft, who claimed that McDonald’s “Mayor McCheese” was a direct ripoff of their own H.R. Pufnstuff character.
  • Kaelin’s Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky claims they invented the cheeseburger in 1934.
  • Another who applied for a trademark of that word was Gus Belt, the founder of Steak n’ Shake. Sometime in the 1930s he also applied for the trademark.
  • The popular Jimmy Buffett song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” was inspired by a boat trip Buffett took.
  • His Cheeseburger by Veggie Tales (2011). Sure, it’s a kid’s song. But it’s also a rock love ballad describing the deep emotions of a gourd named Mr. Lunt who is in love with cheeseburgers.
  • The Cheeseburger Song by Lucinnio (2020). A singer-songwriter from Romania who mostly writes about food, Lucinnio also sings songs such as The Muffin Song, The Pancake Song and The Chicken Nuggets Song. He does seem to love to have “everything on it”.
  • The Cheeseburger Family by Jack Stauber’s Micropop (2018). This avant-pop folk indie lo-fi band first released only a 30-second clip of this song but then, due to high demand, put out the entire 4-minute version that can now be found on YouTube, complete with a picture of a clay hamburger face.
  • In 2017, Mallie’s Sports Grill & Bar, in Southgate, Michigan, cooked a behemoth burger that weighed nearly 1,800 pounds (816 kilograms), giving it the title of the world’s biggest commercial cheeseburger.
  • On average, Americans eat three hamburgers a week
  • If we arrange all the hamburgers eaten by Americans in a year in a straight line, it will circle our planet 32 times or more!
  • The U.S. is a burger-loving nation with people consuming 50 billion burgers a year.
  •  Hamburgers, along with cheeseburgers, account for 71 percent of beef served in American eateries.
  • The 2013 Burger Survey revealed that 63 percent of people like to have golden-brown potatoes in any form as their side dish. Onion rings are the next favorite, with 16 percent opting for it.
  • Fast food giant McDonald’s sells 75 or more burgers every second.
  • Veggie burgers are globally available in fast-food joints, particularly in India where the majority of the Hindu population does not eat beef and Muslims don’t eat pork. Bacon, jalapenos, cheese, lettuce and onions are some of the most common toppings for burgers worldwide.
  • Bacon Cheeseburger
    (courtesy: Athena Gyro, Langrangeville, NY)

    Do you know that 60 percent of the sandwiches sold globally are actually burgers?

  • There is a Hamburger Hall of Fame in Seymour, Wisconsin, U.S. — celebrating hamburger history.
  • White Castle is the oldest burger chain in America. It was started in 1921 by Walter A. Anderson and E.W. Ingram who sold their burgers for 5 cents apiece.
  • On August 5, 2013, the first hamburger made from meat lab grown from cow stem cells was served. The hamburger was the result of research in the Netherlands led by Mark Post at Maastricht University and sponsored by Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin.
  • According to the Oxford English Dictionary, hamburger was first abbreviated to burger in 1939.
  • American or cheddar, which cheese is the best burger topping?  Technomic’s 2019 Burger Consumer Trend Report, which surveyed more than 1,600 U.S. consumers, found that 70 percent of consumers would order American cheese on their burger, compared to 59 percent that would order cheddar.
  • However, the report also suggests Americans are fairly open-minded when it comes to cheese, as 40 percent of consumers would order a burger with Swiss cheese and 39 percent with mozzarella.


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