The Mausoleum that the Hot Dog Built

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Charles Feltman

(November 8, 1841-September 20, 1910)

The Charles Feltman Mausoleum in the Green-Wood Cemetery at Brooklyn is a neo-classical temple honoring the man many consider to be the creator of the American hot dog.  Feltman, a German immigrant, started out as a pie man, selling his wares from a cart at Coney Island.  His pies did not sell well, so he switched to a boyhood favorite of his—a sausage that he wrapped in a bun and sold with mustard and sauerkraut.

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Two large urns flank the steps leading to the mausoleum.  The columns feature Corinthian capitals.  On each side of the doorway is a trio of mourning figures—the left side holding symbols of faith such as the cross and the dove—the right side showing their grief and sorrow. The pediment features two winged cherubs holding a wreath with the initial “F” in the center. The temple is topped with a cupola with the Archangel Michael standing guard.

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Feltman’s most famous contribution to American culinary delights actually came from his protégé Nathan Handwerker, who left the employ of Feltman to start his own hog dog business—Nathan’s, meat-in-a-tube’s most famous creator!

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One Response to The Mausoleum that the Hot Dog Built

  1. Jim says:

    Charles Feltman, Inventor of the Hot Dog, went on to build the world’s largest dining establishment during the Gilded Age, covering 18 prime acres on the ocean at Coney Island. There were hot dog counters, yes, but also 9 indoor and outdoor restaurants (including a deutscher garden and others offering dancing and table d’hote dinners), a hotel with a ballroom, a huge world-famous German carousel, and 1800 waiters serving up to 20,000 diners a day. All of which earned him the additional title of Caterer to the Millions and made him a fortune. Years after his death in 1910, his son (Charles L.) employed Nathan as a bun-cutter.

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