Although the history of sausage goes back a long way, hot dogs are as American as apple pie. There is no certain etiology
of the term hot dog, but two theories are the most prominent.
The popularity of the term hot dog is generally attributed to sports cartoonist T. A. "Tad" Dorgan, who caricatured
German figures as dachshund dogs just after the turn of the 19th century. His talking sausage cartoons generally denigrated
the cheap wieners sold at Coney Island, crassly suggesting they contained dogmeat. It was such bad publicity that in 1913,
the Chamber of Commerce actually banned use of the term "hog dog" from signs on Coney Island. The term actually
first appeared in print in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1900.
German Americans brought us weinerwurst, German for Vienna sausage, which eventually became shortened to wiener. Other
German immigrants referred to smoked sausages as bundewurst, which is German for dog sausage. By the late 1920's, weinie roasts
became the rage, with guests bringing their own hot dogs to roast over an open fire.
Credit for putting the hot dog into a warm bun and topping it with various condiments goes to Harry Magely, catering director
of New York City's Polo Grounds, who reportedly instructed his vendors to cry out, "Red hots! Get your red hots!"
Also credited for the idea of warm buns is Charles Feltman, of Feltman's Gardens in Coney Island amusement park.