Harry Stevens, know also as the Hot Dog man, came originally from England and settled in Niles, OH. Some have credited him with the invention of the hot dog. While that cannot be confirmed he has been duly credited as America’s foremost ballpark concessionaire.
His company Harry M Stevens Inc., created in 1887, was purchased by well-known Aramark in 1994.
Upon arrival to the Niles, Ohio, USA Stevens became absolutely obsessed with America’s favorite pastime, baseball. His first contribution to the culture of baseball was inventing the first scorecard, which is still used to this day. By the 1900s Stevens had contracts to sell refreshments at several major league parks in the US.
He also began to sell his scorecards which included the famous phrasing: “You can’t tell the players without a scorecard.”
The story of the invention of Steven’s hotdog is attributed to Stevens himself. It was the New York Giants home opener, a cold April day in 1901. While there was limited demand for ice cream many were ordering the German sausages, usually sold on wax paper, known as dachshund sausages. When they ran out of wax paper, Stevens sent out an employee to run out and buy buns instead, thus inventing the modern hot dog.
Additionally, a cartoonist present at the game, recording the event, was privy to the new creation but could not spell “dachshund” on his cartoon so just wrote “hot dog.” The original cartoon has been acquired and preserved by his family.
Ermal Fraze, or “Ernie”, was originally born in Indiana but moved to Ohio where he would become a tool operator during the 1940s. In ’49 he founded his own company, Dayton Reliable Tool Company in Dayton, OH.
In 1959 Fraze set about on a quest to create an improved beverage can. At the time, believe it or not, to open a beverage can one had to have a separate opener. Fraze had been at a picnic where he’d forgotten the “church key”—the nick name for the opener—and had to use a car bumper to open cans to keep his guests refreshed.
The can he developed with an attached leverage opener however his initial design often left a sharp edge that injured the drinker. Later Fraze invented a pull top can where the drinker could loop their finger through a pull tab and “rip” the top off.
Fraze wasn’t able to get a patent for the design until years later after about 3/4ths of the nation’s beer companies were already adopting a similar design. Pittsburg Brewing Company, Pittsburgh, PA was the first company to adopt Fraze’s patented design.
While Fraze’s design revolutionized canned beverages, it also increased liter as people would simply throw the tabs on the ground. Additionally, other thirsty patrons would drop the tab in the can, then cut themselves when they almost swallowed it (believe it or not).
In 1977, Fraze patented the first push-in/fold back tab, which became the design used by canned beverages all over the world today. By 1980 Fraze’s company was earning over a half million dollars a year making the machines to create these types of beverage can tops.
The Green Company was formed in Dayton, OH in 1907. Weston Green, the company’s first president, was the one to introduce the Cheez-It cracker.
Though it wasn’t until March of 1921 that the company increased production of the Cheez-It which would help catapult the cracker into snackdom fame as the company specialized in many popular snacks such as Flag Crackers.
Cheez-It was later acquired by Loose-Wiles Biscuit Co. They bought out the entire Green Company in 1929.
Later Loose-Wiles change their name to Sunshine Biscuits and that company was eventually bought by the Keebler Company in 1996. Kellogg’s later bought Keebler in 2001 acquiring the Cheez-It recipe and name.
Through all this change Cheez-It has remained an iconic crunchy snack beloved by many.
Cheez-Its are known for having a unique flavor. Some of its earlier marketing suggested it was a cracker version of “rarebit.” That is a savory dish of melted cheese and other ingredients served hot over slices of toasted bread.
Cheez-Its are now available in over 40 different varieties.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933 as part of his New Deal to help deal with the effects of the Great Depression.
The CCC provided employment to almost 3 million men by its end. At its peak half a million men worked for the CCC, including some fourteen thousand Ohioans each year the program was in existence.
The CCC benefited Ohioans in other ways as well. This included improved parks and better flood and soil erosion control projects. The largest and most beneficial project to the state of Ohio that the CCC worked on was developing the Muskingum Conservancy District.
The CCC employed men between the age of 18 and 25 to work on various government projects. These included things like flood control, road construction, reforestation and erosion prevention—like much of the work the CCC performed in Ohio.
Although not a military organization the CCC was organized that way. Workers lived in camps, wore uniforms and served under the command of officers.