Brooklyn Side (1911); July Is the Cruelest Month (for "hot dog")

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Jul 25 20:13:56 UTC 2004

For some reason, I'm doing a New York City web site for a city has never been 
the least bit kind to me. Three years' work of mine is in the old ADS-L 
archives, that is no longer available to anyone. It's my first web site, and I'm 
working with codes that I wasn't even taught yet.
It's been up a few days and got major hits on Friday, after a Gothamist 
mention. Despite that, it's way down on the Google charts. A Google for "Barry 
Popik" turns up about hit number 80. It's still behind such 
things as "Class Brain." The number one hit for "Barry Popik" is "The Straight 
Gerald Cohen, Language Log, and Language Hat have commented to others how 
"disorganized" the site is, how I "hide my light under a series of bushels," and 
the latter two have told people to avoid the site entirely and go to the short 
summary of my work on "The Straight Dope." Thanks. Why even try?
Someone wrote into Language Log with John Ciardi's old "manzana principal, 
New Orleans jazzman, 1910" theory. I said again that there is not one piece of 
evidence for this in some fifty million digitized pages (newspapers and 
magazines) that we know. A 20-year-old Ciardi book should not be consulted. It's like 
saying, screw Lighter and Green on slang, I have my H. L. Mencken, and he's 
tops. "Manzana principal" has nothing to do with "the Big Apple" and should not 
be mentioned anymore, but no one believes me.
Anyway, I'm adding "Brooklyn side" to the site. Lighter and DARE are silent. 
Sam Clements found a "10 Jan. 1911 _Decatur (IL) Reveiw_" article, but it 
appears that this is actually from 13 January 1911. The 1917 Washington Post story 
is also interesting for the term "Brooklyn side."
13 January 1913, Decatur (IL) <i>Review</i>, pg. 4, cols. 1-2:
St. Louis, Jan. 13.--Do you tenpin? Of course--you have to, to be in style, 
for the next month. It's quite Country CLubby, you know. If you doubt, drift 
into the Middgy club's lounging place and see the Silk Stocking Seven at work.
But supposing that you do bowl--bowl at times when it's not just the fad. 
Suppose you're a regular. Do you know what is meant by the "Brooklyn side"? And 
if you are so close to the inner circle of the game that you happen to have 
heard the expression, do you know its origin?
It's a grape fruit to a grape seed you don't.
Here's the story--it's told by H. W. Harrington, now of St. Louis, formerly a 
member of the champion Chicago team, which beat the New York cracks back in 
the dim days before the American Bowling congress was a de facto organization. 
That is to say, just twelve years ago.
Harrington and one of his teammates on the five that made the memorable trip 
to New York from the Windy City in 1899, W. V. THompson, will bowl an 
exhibition match as one of the features of the national championship tournament, which 
will open here Jan. 21. Here's Mr. Harrington's tale:
"The alleys were not alltogether at their best. THey had been bowled on a 
good deal and there were spots where the bowler would be favored, if he could 
only search them out. To this end Brill had been studying the boards during the 
match. The alleys were located downtown near the river and so disposed that the 
left-hand side of the runway was toward Brooklyn.
"Thompson walked up to shoot his first ball and Brill could see from his 
stand that he was going after the "one-three" break. This means hitting on the 
right hand-side of the head pin. Brill had observed some ugly "splits" resulted 
from this play. As Thompson was about to make his shot  Brill shouted out:
"Not that way, not that way--try the 'Brooklyn side!':
Thompson halted in his delivery when Brill went over and explained.
"All the good breaks are coming on the left side of the head pin. Play for 
the one-two, instead of the one-three break."
"Thompson did and struck the game out, winning the match by ten pins 
"Among the bowlers the 'one-three' break, using a hook ball, is considered 
safest to give best results, especially on new alleys. But whenever they find 
that the alleys are not "grooved" to suit their particular style of bowling they 
always try the 'Brooklyn side.'
"The name still clings."
9 January 1917, Mansfield (Ohio) <i>News</i>, pg. 12, col. 2:
Left-handed bowlers start their deliveries on the left-handed corner, but 
shoot for the 1-2 or "Brooklyn," instead of the "New York," ar right-handers do.
Only when a bowler fails to get pins on a 1-3 hit, does he cross over to the 
1-2 or "Brooklyn" side. It all depends on the alley.
22 April 1917, <i>Washington <i>Post</i>, pg. S2:
<i>Same Results Possible on "Brooklyn" as "New York" side"</i>
A 1-3 hit in tenpins is called "the New York," while when a pin-toppler hits 
them on the other side of the 1-2 it is termed a "Brooklyn"
The terms originated many years ago in New York in a famous match, when one 
of the men bowling found that he could get plus equally as well by hitting the 
1-2 as the 1-3.
The alleys on which the above match was rolled ran parallel with the river. 
The 1-2 side of the pine faced toward the river or Brooklyn side, and the 1-3 
inland or to New York.
3 June 1958, New York <i>Times</i>, pg. 40:
...I hit the Brooklyn side (between the 1 and 2 pins)...    
This week, from your Google News.Three wrong articles.
It's been nine years since I did my work on "hot dog." My name has not made a 
single one of these newspaper articles. This will continue my entire pathetic 
Posted on Mon, Jul. 19, 2004    
At home or at the game, just relish the hot dog


Here's a heads-up for you, in case you had forgotten, or never known, or 
never really cared -- Wednesday is National Hot Dog Day, so let's hoist a jar of 
mustard to all hot dogs, living and dead.

The dead ones we eat, especially at sports events, from baseball games down 
to catching lightning bugs. The living hot dogs are the ones who orchestrate 
end zone celebrations, shake their heads after they dunk, take half the night to 
circle the bases after hitting a home run, yell "Go in the hole" to get on TV 
-- you know the type.

It is the dead hot dogs we actually salute today, though, the ones we eat, 
because, well, darn it, we love 'em.

It is a little known scientific fact that a person cannot attend a baseball 
game without eating a hot dog.

There are 26 million hot dogs consumed each year in major league ballparks. 
That is, of course, only a small percentage of dogs we consume. We eat billions 
every year. We eat 60 per person per year in the United States.

We in the newspaper profession are proud to note that one of our own, a 
sports cartoonist working for a New York newspaper, coined the name hot dog. On a 
cold day in 1901 at the Polo Grounds, the concessionaire was doing little 
business with his ice cream and cold sodas. He sent his salesmen out to buy up all 
the dachshund sausages (that's what they were called at the time, for obvious 
reasons) and rolls they could find.

In less than an hour, vendors were hawking dachshund sausages in the stands, 
probably yelling, "Red hot! Get yer red hot dachshund sausages right heah!"

The cartoonist, Tad Dorgan, felt his deadline approaching fast. He needed an 
idea. When he heard the vendors, he drew a cartoon of barking dachshund 
sausages nestled in the rolls. He didn't know how to spell dachshund so he called 
them hot dogs.

Thanks to Tad Dorgan, it cannot be said that the guys in the press box have 
never contributed anything better to society than the rumpled look, a few 
clichés and a sizeable thirst.

(FORWARD, July 23, 2004) (formerly, JEWISH DAILY FORWARD--ed.)
A Summer Taste Test
By Matthew Goodman
July 23, 2004
There's no way to know this for sure, but I would suggest that kosher 
frankfurters first entered the wider American consciousness in the 1970s, thanks to, 
of all things, a TV commercial. In this commercial — for those of you who 
threw out your televisions in the 1960s — a man dressed as Uncle Sam stands 
holding a hot dog in front of him, while a stentorian-voiced narrator recites some 
of the additives (nonmeat fillers, etc.) that the American government allows to 
be put in frankfurters.
"We don't," intones the narrator after each item, as Uncle Sam's smile grows 
increasingly forced. Cue the heavenly choir; Uncle Sam gazes upward, to where 
the sun is breaking through the clouds. Proclaims the narrator (the term 
Omniscient Narrator would not be inappropriate here): 'We can't. We're Hebrew 
National, and we answer to a Higher Authority."
This prodigious bit of marketing jiujitsu took the kosher laws, which never 
had mattered to more than a very small segment of the population, and made them 
a selling point for the population at large. We even might look to this as 
the moment when many Americans first began to view kosher food — not always 
correctly — as healthy food, such that today the majority of kosher buyers are not 
even Jewish. 
Of course, kosher frankfurters had been around for a long time before Uncle 
Sam ever held up one to the camera. The first recorded appearance of a 
frankfurter of any kind on American shores was in 1867, in the Brooklyn, N.Y., seaside 
community of Coney Island. A German immigrant named Charles Feltman, who 
earned his trade selling pies from a wagon that he pushed along the beach, found 
that many of his customers were asking for hot sandwiches, as had begun to be 
sold in the restaurants along the boardwalk. Fearing a drop-off in business, 
Feltman hired a mechanic (the annals of food history know him only as Donovan) 
to construct a charcoal stove on the back of his wagon. Thus equipped, Feltman 
began plying hot sausages to the local beachgoers; he wrapped the sausages in 
a bun, in the German fashion, and called his creation, "Frankfurter 
sandwiches," after his hometown. Feltman's gambit proved so successful that within the 
decade he had opened his own restaurant on the boardwalk, the eponymous 
Feltman's, which by the turn of the century had grown into a vast food complex, 
turning out frankfurters from seven grills, delivered to patrons by as many as 
1,200 waiters. 
However, eventually Feltman's ingenuity would spawn the seeds of his own 
undoing. In 1915, a former employee of Feltman's, Nathan Handwerker, set up a 
stand across the street from the restaurant and began selling competing hot dogs. 
(The term "hot dog" had been coined nine years earlier, after the Chicago 
cartoonist T.A. "Tad" Dorgan drew a cartoon showing a dachshund inside a 
frankfurter bun.) Like Feltman before him, Handwerker named his hot-dog stand after 
himself, calling it — need I even say this? — Nathan's Famous. At Nathan's hot 
dogs cost only a nickel, half of the price that was being charged across the 
street. But they differed from those of Feltman's in at least one more 
significant respect: Nathan's frankfurters, like all Jewish sausages before them, were 
made from beef rather than pork. 

(ANN ARBOR NEWS, July 23, 2004)
Hot dog vendors on a roll 

Carts let people know when summertime is really here 

Friday, 23, 2004BY STEPHENIE KOEHN 

News Staff Reporter   
Hot dogs, originally known as "hot dachshund sausages," reportedly got their 
name in 1901 from sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan, who heard vendors at the Polo 
Grounds in New York yelling, "Get your dachshund sausages while they're red 
hot!" He sketched a cartoon depicting the scene, but wasn't sure how to spell 
"dachshund," so he called them, "hot dogs." At least that's one version of the 

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