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Posts Tagged ‘Wienermobile

“The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream”*…


ice cream


Under the general heading of once and (we hope) future pleasures…

Delicious, but too messy to handle,” was how Ruth Burt described the new ice cream treat her father, Harry Burt, concocted in 1920—a brick of vanilla ice cream encased in chocolate. So her brother, Harry Jr., offered a suggestion: Why not give it a handle? The idea was hardly revolutionary in the world of sweets, of course. Harry Burt Sr. himself, a confectioner based in Youngstown, Ohio, had previously developed what he called the Jolly Boy, a hard-candy lollipop on a wooden stick. But ice cream on a stick was so novel that the process of making it earned Burt two U.S. patents, thus launching his invention, the Good Humor bar, into an epic battle against the previously developed I Scream bar, a.k.a. the Eskimo Pie, a worthy rival to this day.

Burt’s contribution to the culture was bigger than a sliver of wood. When he became the first ice cream vendor to move from pushcarts to motorized trucks, giving his salesmen the freedom to roam the streets, his firm greatly expanded his business (and those of his many imitators) and would change how countless Americans eat—and how they experience summer…

As innovations go, the Good Humor vehicle is as sweet as it gets: “How the Ice Cream Truck Made Summer Cool.”

* Wallace Stevens, “The Emperor of Ice Cream


As we hit the road, we might recall that it was on this date in 1936 that Carl Mayer, Oscar’s nephew, created the first Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.  There is now a fleet of six traversing the nation.

OscarMayer_Wienermobile1936 source


Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 18, 2020 at 1:01 am

Inside the Wienermobile…


Every year, a dozen “Hotdoggers” drive six Wienermobiles around the country, and each almost-identical giant hot dog van (the fleet gets updated in waves; the newest models are 2012s, but 2009s are still on the road) is assigned to a particular region. According to Oscar Mayer, thousands of recent college graduates apply to be Hotdoggers, giving it a lower acceptance rate than Princeton, Harvard, or Yale…

More frank talk about what’s between the buns at Bon Appetit‘s “Behind the Hot Dog: What Goes On in the Wienermobile.”


We we read with relish, we might spare a thought for Clyde Kluckhohn; he died on this date in 1960.  An anthropologist and cultural theorist, Kluckhohn is probably best know for his ethnographic work on the Navajo.  His fundamental ideas on culture are articulated in Mirror for Man (which won the McGraw-Hill prize for the best popular work in science in 1949): he argues that, despite material differences in customs, there are fundamental human values common to the diverse cultures of the world.




Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 29, 2013 at 1:01 am


Our friends at Autopia report:

It’s been quite an adventurous few months for Mr. Peanut. First, he got a makeover that left him with a gray flannel vest and a shell tanner than Snooki. Shortly after that, he made the acquaintance of Benson, a legume who is now his sidekick. With all those changes in his life, it’s only fitting that he upgrade his ride.

To that end, Planters has fixed him up with — wait for it — the Nutmobile, a custom creation set to tour the country teaching Americans to follow the way of the virtuous peanut…

Underneath that dry, wrinkled shell, the humble peanut is quite helpful to farmers. Like nearly all legumes, the roots of the peanut plant contain bacteria that contribute to nitrogen fixation — the process by which atmospheric nitrogen is converted to ammonia, fertilizing the soil.

To promote the “peanut lifestyle” of giving back to the earth, the Nutmobile will appear at events to draw support for The Corps Network, a service and conservation agency that offers over 30,000 young people the chance to mobilize communities in projects that restore and maintain public and green spaces…

The whole thing is one part George Barris, two parts George Washington Carver, and will join the Oscar-Meyer Wienermobile and the Red Bull Mini in the annals of vehicular marketing. If the new Planters commercials are any indication, we can only imagine that Benson will be riding shotgun.

So, is Mr. Peanut nuts about his new ride? We may never know, as the voice that sounds strangely like Robert Downey Jr. fell silent on this one: A spokeswoman for Planters told us that Mr. Peanut has no comment on the Nutmobile.

As we roast ’em and salt ’em, we might wish a hearty Happy Birthday to Verne Gagne; he was born on this date in 1926.  Verne was a champion athlete from an early age: he won NCAA titles while wrestling for the University of Minnesota. Then.in 1947, he was drafted by the Chicago Bears (though he never played for the team).  But it was as a professional wrestler and promoter that Gagne made his name.  He is recorded as a 10-time AWA World Heavyweight Champion, holds the record for the most combined days as a world champion, lags only Bruno Sammartino and Lou Thesz for the longest single world title reign.  He is one of six men inducted into each of the WWE Hall of Fame, the WCW Hall of Fame, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.  Through that same period– 1949 to 1981– Gagne became the owner/promoter of the American Wrestling Association (AWA), based in Minneapolis, the predominant professional wrestling operation throughout the Midwest and Manitoba.

Gagne was much beloved in Minnesota… which did after all elect one of his spiritual successors, Jesse Ventura, governor.

Verne Gagne in 1953 wearing his U.S. Heavyweight Championship belt (source: Minnesota Historical Society, via MinnPost)

Wieners through the ages…

From the original 1938 General Body Company custom-chassis:

… to the 2008 Mini-Cooper-based model:

… from Oobject, “All 10 Wienermobiles Through History.”

As we wish that we were an Oscar Meyer wiener, we might recall that it was on this date in 2003 that the last of 21,529,464 Volkswagen Beetles built since World War II rolled off the production line at Volkswagen’s plant in Puebla, Mexico.  The baby-blue bug rests in a museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen’s headquarters city.  (The classic Beetle is not to be confused with the [Golf-based] reincarnation introduced in 1998…)


Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 30, 2010 at 12:01 am

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