Charlie Nagreen

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Charles "Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen (1870-1951) was an American claimant to the title of inventor of the hamburger.[1]

Hamburger Charlie Statue
Plaque showing Charlie’s chant on Hamburger Charlie statue in Seymour, Wisconsin.
Plaque showing The Charlie Burger on Hamburger Charlie statue in Seymour, Wisconsin.

Career[edit]

Born in Hortonville, Wisconsin, at 15 Nagreen was a vendor at the 1885 Seymour Fair.[2] After not experiencing success selling meatballs, he had an idea.[2][3] Knowing that the visitors to the fair would be hungry after gazing at the exhibits but wouldn't be able to walk and eat, he smashed a meatball and placed it between two slices of bread.[2] His idea was a success and he returned every year until his death in 1951.[2]

Controversy[edit]

The name of the Hamburger came from the idea of "Hamburg steak", or ground beef.[2] Since this was a popular item in Seymour at the time of the 1885 fair, Nagreen decided to call the sandwich the "Hamburger".[2] This claim is supported by various local history organizations,[4] but not widely accepted; see History of the hamburger in the United States.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Charles Nagreen at Find a Grave.