of the square hamburger patty with holes
White Castle sprang from the
grill of fry cook Walter Anderson, who owned a
hamburger shop in Wichita, Kansas. In May 1921,
Anderson teamed up with local businessman E.W.
"Billy" Ingram, who provided $700 to
open the first of what he hoped would be many
White Castle hamburger shops. And, while White
Castle would never become a truly
"national" chain, it did indeed grow
into a major chain, with shops located in several
major cities across the country. By limiting the
menu largely to their patented square hamburgers
with holes (which originally sold for 5 cents
apiece) and beverages, White Castle continues to
be a major hamburger chain to this day, and
frozen White Castle hamburgers are sold in
grocery stores across the country. Ironically,
White Castle closed its original stores in Kansas
in 1938 and does not currently operate any stores
in the state.
Highlights from the
History of White Castle
1921 The first
White Castle opens in Wichita, Kansas.
1930 White Castle hires
a food scientist to run tests to determine the
nutritional value of White Castle hamburgers. One
study involves having a medical student live on
nothing but White Castle burgers and water for 13
weeks, with no ill effects reported.
Castle begins using frozen beef patties and
develops a crush-resistant cardboard carton that
is specially lined to keep the burgers hot.
Castle runs the first fast food coupon
advertising campaign, offering 5 hamburgers for
the price of 2.
1949 Five holes are
added to the already uniquely-shaped hamburger
Castle patents its square hamburger patty with
Castle becomes the first hamburger chain to reach
the 1 billion in sales mark.
Cheeseburgers are added to the White Castle menu.
1968 The 2
billion in sales mark is achieved.
Smithereens, a New Jersey rock group, records
"White Castle Blues" on its debut
White Castle hamburgers and cheeseburgers are
introduced to grocery stores.
The official White Castle
website is www.whitecastle.com.
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