Places that Matter

Nathan's

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Martha Cooper
Martha Cooper
Hot Dog Eating Contest billboard, Chester Burger
American flag background with Nathan's sign, Chester Burger
Coney Island's famous hot dog vendor
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Place Matters Profile

While Nathan Handwerker did not invent the hot dog, he did popularize it by making it affordable at a time when Coney Island was being transformed from a wealthy resort to the playground of the masses. His prime location near both the beach and the subway, and his enterprising sales techniques (early on he lured customers by hiring men dressed as doctors to stand at the counter under a sign proclaiming "If doctors eat our hot dogs, you know they're good!"), made Nathan's an essential part of every Coney Island visit.