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Watch: The Glorious History of Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs

How an American classic came to be

Nathan Handwecker didn't invent the hot dog, much less the sausage, but he did create an American institution a century ago. This video from the Wall Street Journal tells the story of Nathan's Famous hot dogs, which have evolved from a Coney Island specialty to a household name in the United States.

Handwecker opened his hot dog stand in 1916, at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in New York. He used a top-secret recipe developed by his wife Ida, and it's the same tasty formula that Nathan's uses today. From one location to a chain with outposts around the world, Handwecker's creation has become the name in hot dogs almost anyone will recognize. Even if you haven't tried one, you've surely heard of the annual Fourth of July contest that bears the company's name.

Watch the above video, and celebrate this holiday weekend with a little history lesson on a quintessential American food item.

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