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]

This claim is supported by various local history organizations,[2] but not widely accepted; see History of the hamburger in the United States.

Born in Hortonville, Wisconsin, at 15 Nagreen was a vendor at the 1885 Seymour Fair.[3] After not experiencing success selling meatballs, he had an idea.[3][4] 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.[3] His idea was a success and he returned every year until his death in 1951.[3]

The name of the Hamburger came from the idea of "Hamburg steak", or ground beef.[3] Since this was a popular item in Seymour at the time of the 1885 fair, Nagreen decided to call the sandwich the "Hamburger".[3]


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.


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