Category Archives: Fun Facts

Time to Deck the Halls!

The holiday season is upon us, and that can mean only one thing here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey – Time to dig out the boxes of holiday decorations and begin turning our self storage rental office into a holiday wonderland!  We do it every year. Whether at home or work – we put up the tree, hang the lights, and pull out the Christmas knick-knacks, along with the tinsel, gingerbread men, reindeer, Christmas bells ,and what seems to be a never-ending assortment of Christmas tree ornaments. We all love them, but what do they mean, and where did they come from? Here is the history behind a few of our favorites…

Christmas Trees:
The green fir tree was originally used in various European countries to celebrate winter. Branches of the fir tree were used to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it was said to make them think of spring being around the corner. Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia and Christians began using the tree as a sign of everlasting life with God.


Nobody knows when the first Christmas appeared, but the general consensus is that it began about 1000 years ago in Northern Europe, where they were hung upside down from the ceiling using chains (hung from chandeliers or lighting hooks).

In parts of Northern Europe Fir trees would be re-planted into pots in the hope they’d flower at Christmas time. The poor man’s Christmas tree was a pyramid of wood, which was decorated to look like a tree with paper, apples and candles.


Tinsel:
Tinsel originated in Germany in the early 1600s – back then it was shredded silver. Real silver.

Tinsel makers of the day would hammer the silver until it was thin, then cut it into strips. It was so popular that eventually machines began making the stuff to keep up with demand.There was just one problem – the smoke from Christmas candles caused the tinsel to turn black, so they began making it with tin and lead. That version proved to be too heavy for a Christmas tree, so the Brits took over and came up with the light silver sparkly tinsel we enjoy today.

Baubles / Tree Ornaments
Once again the Germans stepped up in the decoration invention department. Baubles were invented by Hans Greiner, a local, who first manufactured them in the late 1840s. The first baubles were fruit and nut shaped glass, eventually turning into a more spherical shape that we know as Christmas balls. Britain’s Queen Victoria was said to be quite taken with the tradition of baubles and brought them from Germany to Europe in the mid to late 1800s.

American retailer F.W. Woolworth made his fortune by importing baubles into the country in 1880. By 1890, he was reportedly selling $25 million worth a year.

At first, baubles were only for wealthy people as they were hand-crafted and made of glass. But it wasn’t long before a plastic version was made, allowing cheaper manufacturing and affordability for everyone.

Fun Fact – In Britain it is bad luck to keep your Christmas decorations up after the 12th day of Christmas, on the 5th of January.

Christmas lights:

In Victorian times, the tree would have been decorated with candles to represent stars. In many parts of Europe, candles are still used, but insurance companies in the U.S. tried to get a law passed so that candles would be banned from use on Christmas trees because of the many fires they’d caused. In 1895, an American man, Ralph Morris, concerned about the fire hazard of candles and Christmas trees, invented the first electric Christmas lights, which are similar to the ones in use today.

Mistletoe

Another popular decoration for the home is branches of holly and mistletoe. Their bright red holly berries, made a sweet contrast to the white mistletoe. The two were woven together to make Holy Boughs, which were blessed by the local priest, before being hung by the front door.

Any visitors would be embraced under the bough as a sign of goodwill. As for the ‘kissing under the mistletoe’ tradition, it originated in Britain where the original custom was that a berry was picked from the sprig of the Mistletoe before the person could be kissed. Then, when all the berries were gone. – No more kissing!

Well, that was fun! Meanwhile, back in the office, I see that quite a few of our customer’s are retrieving holiday decorations from their storage units, I even saw one of our rental tenants with a Santa Suit – Hmmm… Don’t know if he’s the real Santa, but if he is, I have been very good this year, and I’ve always wanted a Corvette. Happy Holidays!

A Brief History of Black Friday

It’s Thanksgiving week here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and things are really poppin’. Some folks are placing their warm weather items into their storage units for the winter, while others are taking advantage of our Santa Closets to keep their gifts secret until the big day.

True, Thanksgiving is a beloved American tradition, considering all the food, football, and after dinner naps, but we all know what comes next – Black Friday!

Black Friday is the biggest retail sale day of the year, but where did it actually come from, and what does it mean? Here’s a little background on one of the biggest shopping days of the year….

Black Friday and the Stock Market

The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied not to holiday shopping, but to a financial crisis: specifically, the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869. Two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits. On that Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unraveled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.

The Retail Version

The Thanksgiving, shopping-related, Black Friday tradition links it to retailers. After an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”) stores would supposedly earn a profit (“went into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, because holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted merchandise. Retail companies used to record losses in red and profits in black when doing their accounting, and this version of Black Friday’s origin is the officially sanctioned story behind the tradition.

According to a pre-holiday survey this year by the National Retail Federation, an estimated 135.8 million Americans definitely plan to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend.

So, there you have it – A Brief History of Black Friday. As for me, I will be avoiding the retail centers on Black Friday, and instead celebrating Cyber Monday from the comfort of my home office. Happy Holidays everyone from The Storage Inn!

Happy Halloween from the Storage Inn of EHT!

Which Witch is Which? A Brief History

It’s Halloween here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and along with the falling leaves , and dropping temperatures come our yearly Trick or Treaters. Whether they are our self storage customers, or neighborhood families, it is always great to spend time with visitors to our storage facility. We see all sorts of costumes, from current and topical, to the traditional monsters, witches and goblins. So in the spirit of Halloween, we thought it would be fun to give you a brief history of a most time-honored Halloween symbol… The Witch!

Images of witches have appeared in various forms throughout history—from evil, wart-nosed women huddling over a boiling cauldron to a nose-twitching, suburban housewife. The real history of witches however, is dark and, often for the witches, deadly!

Early Witches

Early witches were people who practiced witchcraft— They used “Spells” to call upon spirits for help or to bring about change. Most witches were thought to be pagans doing the Devil’s work. Many, however, were simply natural healers whose choice of profession was misunderstood.

One of the earliest records of a witch is in the Bible within the book of Samuel. It tells the story King Saul who sought the Witch of Endor to summon the dead prophet Samuel’s spirit to help him defeat the Philistine army. Additional Biblical passages caution against chanting or using witches to contact the dead.

Witch hysteria really took hold in Europe during the mid-1400s. Witch hunts were common and most of the accused were executed by burning at the stake or hanging. Between the years 1500 and 1660, up to 80,000 suspected witches were put to death in Europe. Around 80 percent of them were women thought to be in cahoots with the Devil and filled with lust.

The book Malleus Maleficarumwritten in 1486—was essentially a guide on how to identify, hunt and interrogate witches. It labeled witchcraft as heresy, and gave Protestants and Catholics the authority to flush out witches living among them. For more than 100 years, the book sold more copies of any other book in Europe except the Bible.

Witches in the New World

As witch hysteria decreased in Europe, it grew in the New World. Probably the best-known witch trials took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The Salem witch trials began when two girls claimed to be witches and accused many of their neighbors of witchcraft. Ultimately, around 150 people were accused and 18 were put to death.

In 1730, a satirical article written by Benjamin Franklin brought to light the ridiculousness of some witchcraft accusations. It wasn’t long before witch mania died down in the New World and laws were passed to help protect people from being wrongly accused and convicted.

Modern Day Witches

Modern-day witches of the Western World still struggle to shake their historical stereotype. Most practice Wicca, an official religion in the United States and Canada. Wiccans avoid evil and the appearance of evil at all costs. Their motto is to “harm none,” and they strive to live a peaceful, tolerant and balanced life in tune with nature and humanity.

There you have it – a little witch history.  Well, it’s time for me to go. I have a Halloween party to attend – I’m going dressed as… (wait for it…) a self storage manager – BOO!!!

 

 

For the Love of Doughnuts!

It’s mid-October here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and the place is abuzz with activity. Folks are scurrying about the parking lot, in and out of their rental units and our office, but mostly they’re excited to get their free donuts! That’s right – its Customer Appreciation Day, and that means free coffee and donuts for our great customers! We offer many perks to our customers here at The Storage Inn, including free use of a moving truck, free WiFi, fax, and copy service, but our customers simply love their monthly free coffee and donuts! All of this activity made me wonder, where did donuts come from, and why do Americans love them so much? So I put on my detective hat, and did some research…

A Brief History

The “doughnut” came to Manhattan under the Dutch name olykoeks, or “oily cakes” . In mid-19th century New England, a ship captain’s mother named Elizabeth Gregory made her son fried dough with nuts in the middle (dough/nuts) to take on his long journeys. Her son lay claim to putting the hole in the middle by eating the nuts out of the center, possibly to skewer it onto the ship’s wheel as he was steering. Others claim the hole was made to get rid of the soggy, undercooked center.

Donut Trivia

Doughnuts vs. Donuts? “Doughnut” is actually proper, but “donut” is acceptable.If you look in older dictionaries, you’ll only find “doughnut.” However, the Merriam-Webster dictionary now lists “donut” as a variant of “doughnut.”

– January 12th is National Glazed Doughnut Day.
– The first Friday in June and November 5th are National Doughnut Day.
– June 8th is National Jelly Filled Doughnut Day.
– September 14th is National Creme-Filled Doughnut Day.
– National Doughnut Day was officially established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression.
– In the U.S. alone, more than 10 billion doughnuts are made every year.
– The largest doughnut ever made was an American-style jelly donut weighing 1.7 tons, which was 16 feet in diameter and 16 inches high in the center.

 

– Per capita, Canada has more doughnut shops than any other country.
– Adolph Levitt invented the first doughnut machine in 1920.
– The US doughnut industry is worth 3.6 billion dollars.
– The Guinness World record for doughnut eating is held by John Haight, who consumed 29 donuts in just over 6 minutes.

So there you have it – A brief history, and some fun facts about America’s favorite… donuts!

Well, it’s very busy here, and all this talk about donuts reminds me I best do my quality control – freshness check on our free donuts. Just a bite or two should do the trick!

 

What is Indian Summer?

It’s the first half of October here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and the place is jumping! This probably has something to do with the unusually warm weather we’ve been experiencing?!

One of our customers, Damon, strode into our storage supplies store and proclaimed, “October, and it’s actually hot outside!”  to which I replied, ” Indian Summer!”

Damon, who also happens to be a school teacher, told me that I was, in fact, incorrect, and that Indian Summer only occurs after the first frost of the year. “Still hot though!” he exclaimed as he walked out of the office and back towards his storage space.

Hmmmm – I wondered if he was actually correct about the frost thing, so I checked it out, and found some interesting facts about “Indian Summer”.

Indian summer is defined as a period of unseasonably warm, dry and calm weather, usually following a period of colder weather or frost in late Autumn.

The Origin

Indian summer was first recorded in Letters From an American Farmer, in a 1778 work by the French-American soldier turned farmer, J. H. St. John de Crèvecoeur.

“Then a severe frost succeeds which prepares it to receive the voluminous coat of snow which is soon to follow; though it is often preceded by a short interval of smoke and mildness, called the Indian Summer.”

There are many references to the term in American literature to refer to any late flowering following a period of decline. John Greenleaf Whittier wrote of “The Indian Summer of the Heart”, and Oliver Wendell Holmes mentions “an Indian summer of serene widowhood” in his story The Guardian Angel.


Why “Indian”?

The English already had names for this phenomenon including St. Luke’s Summer, St. Martin’s Summer or All-Hallows Summer, but eventually these terms disappeared and were replaced by indian summer.

Why Indian? Well, no one knows but, as is commonplace when no one knows, many people have guessed. Here are three of the more commonly repeated guesses…

When European settlers first came across the phenomenon in America it became known as the Indian’s Summer as Native American tribes would wait for a warm spell in the autumn to harvest their crops including pumpkins, gourds, and fall vegetables.

It originated from raids on European settlements by Indian war parties, which usually ended in late autumn, after “Indian Summer”.


Native Americans were considered untrustworthy by many white settlers, spawning terms such as “Indian giver”. The aforementioned late-summer heat was considered a “false summer”, thus the term “Indian” summer.

Well, who knows if any of these theories are correct? What I do know is that both the staff, and our self-storage customers here at The Storage Inn will be enjoying the warm days ahead! I think I’ll spend a couple next week in shorts and flip-flops, turn the ball game on the radio, sit on my back deck and have a cold beer – Indian Summer Rules!

Happy Hoagie Day!

It’s almost dinner time here at The Storage Inn Self Storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, so I called John at our local Corner Deli to order something to eat. John informed me that today is National Eat a Hoagie Day, so in a show of support, I ordered hoagies for the rental office staff and yard support crew! (It didn’t hurt that they were half price in honor of this historic day).

For those of you who don’t live in the Philadelphia Tri-State area, a hoagie is similar to what you would probably know as a submarine sandwich or a hero, but today is not eat a hero day, or eat a sub day – it’s eat a Hoagie Day! This made me wonder where the name “Hoagie” came from, so I did a little research and here is what I found.

Seven Possible Origins of the “Hoagie”

The Hog Island Legend.

During World War I, the U.S. government contracted with the American International Shipbuilding company to construct warships on Hog Island on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Italian immigrants working at the company after World War II became known as “Hog Islanders,” and the massive sandwiches they constructed of lunch meat and cheese inside Italian rolls took on the name as well. This was eventually shortened to “hoggies” and then transformed into “hoagies” thanks to the wonders of the Philadelphia accent.

Hogan’s Hero?

See the above, but substitute an Irish immigrant shipbuilder named Hogan (nickname “Hogie”) who coveted his Italian co-worker’s hearty sandwich and begged him to have his wife make him one, too. His moniker got transferred to the sandwich forever to endure.

The Hokie Hypothesis.

The story goes that Italians in South Philly once used the term “on the hoke” the way we now use “on the dole,” to describe being poor. Sandwiches made by kindly shopkeepers from scraps of meat and cheese and distributed free to the needy, thus became “hokies,” which transmogrified to “ hoagies”.

Put your Right Foot in, Put your Right Foot out.

In the 1880’s Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore debuted in Philly. Local bakeries marked the occasion by producing a long, thin roll they called a “pinafore.” Sandwiches made on the rolls were sold by street-cart vendors known as “hokey-pokey men.” Thus was born the “hokey,” which gradually was worn down by the Philly accents into the easier-to-say “hoagie.”

The DePalma Possibility.

During the depths of the Great Depression in South Philadelphia, an unemployed musician named Al DePalma went to the shipyards to look for work, and saw employees chomping happily away at meat-and-cheese sandwiches on lovely fresh rolls. “These guys look like hogs,” DePalma tells himself. Instead of applying for work, he opens his own lunch stand, re-creating the hefty sandwiches and calling them “hoggies.” He eventually opened a real, full-scale deli earning the nickname “King of the Hoggies.” And then that “a” somehow crept in.

The Holmesburg Hobo.

According to local historian Jim Smart, who once wrote a column for the Inquirer, the “hoagie” was a corruption of “hobo,” used for a sandwich invented on Ditman Street in the Holmesburg section of the city.

The DiCostanza Claim.

In 1925, the DiCostanza family opened a grocery store which catered to the late-night needs of a den of iniquity known as Palermo’s (some say it was a bar; some say it was a pool hall). One evening a customer entered the store just as Mrs. DiCostanza was frying up some peppers. Enticed by the aroma, the customer implored her to make him a meat-and-cheese sandwich and throw some peppers on. She did, and the rest is… well, history according to the DiCostanza clan, and just one more hoagie theory. This one explains the sandwich, but what about the name?

So who knows which theory is correct? I’m personally going with the Hog Island Legend. One thing that I do know is that the rental office here at The Storage Inn in South Jersey is gonna smell delicious thanks to John and his crew at the Corner Deli. Happy National Hoagie Day – Bon Appetit!

 

The Storage Inn team investigates the origins of popular sayings!

Biting the Bullet during The Dog Days of Summer

So, the “Dog Days of Summer” are officially upon us here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey. It’s been extremely hot and humid as we head out of July and into August. The “Dog Days of Summer” thing was brought up to me by one of our storage space  customers who also happens to be into astrology.  

I always assumed that this saying referred to the weather being so hot that even the family dog did not want to move out of his resting spot. But, Cindy, our astrological self storage client, informed me that the “dog days of summer” are the hot, sultry days of summer that coincide with the heliacal rising of the star Sirius (also known as the dog star) from late July to late August.

This got me to thinking about all of the sayings that we use, but probably have no idea where  they came from.

So being the detective that I am, I decided to investigate a few popular sayings.

“Bite the Bullet”

Meaning: Accepting something difficult or unpleasant
History: There was no time to administer anesthesia before emergency surgery during battle. The surgeon made patients bite down on a bullet in an attempt to distract them from the pain.

“Break the Ice”

Meaning: To commence a project or initiate a friendship
History: Before the days of trains or cars, port cities that thrived on trade suffered during the winter because frozen rivers prevented commercial ships from entering the city. Small ships known as “icebreakers” would rescue the icebound ships by breaking the ice and creating a path for them to follow. Before any type of business arrangement today, it is now customary to “break the ice” before beginning a project.

“Butter him/her Up”

Meaning: To flatter someone
History: An ancient Indian custom involved throwing balls of clarified butter at statues of the gods to seek favor.

“Caught Red Handed”

Meaning: To be caught doing something wrong
History: This saying originated because of a law. If someone butchered an animal that didn’t belong to him, he had to be caught with the animal’s blood on his hands to be convicted. Being caught with freshly cut meat did not make the person guilty.

Give him/her “The Cold Shoulder”

Meaning: A rude way of telling someone he isn’t welcome
History: Although giving someone the cold shoulder today is considered rude, it was actually regarded as a polite gesture in medieval England. After a feast, the host would let his guests know it was time to leave by giving them a cold piece of meat from the shoulder of beef, mutton, or pork.

“Cold Turkey”

Meaning: To quit something abruptly
History: People believed that during withdrawal, the skin of drug addicts became translucent, hard to the touch, and covered with goose bumps – like the skin of a plucked turkey.

“Kick the Bucket”

Meaning: To die
History: When a cow was killed at a slaughterhouse, a bucket was placed under it while it was positioned on a pulley. Sometimes the animal’s legs would kick during the adjustment of the rope and it would literally kick the bucket before being killed.

“No Spring Chicken”

Meaning: Someone who is past his prime
History: New England chicken farmers generally sold chickens in the spring, so the chickens born in the springtime yielded better earnings than the chickens that survived the winter. Sometimes, farmers tried to sell old birds for the price of a new spring chicken. Clever buyers complained that the fowl was “no spring chicken,” and the term came to represent anyone past their prime.

“Rule of Thumb”

Meaning: A common, ubiquitous benchmark
History: Legend has it that 17th century English Judge Sir Francis Buller ruled it was permissible for a husband to beat his wife with a stick, given that the stick was no wider than his thumb.

“Saved by the Bell”

Meaning: Rescued from an unwanted situation
History: As scary as it sounds, being buried alive was once a common occurrence. People who feared succumbing to such a fate were buried in special coffins that connected to a bell above ground. At night, guards listened for any bells in case they had to dig up a living person and save them “by the bell.”

“Sleep Tight”

Meaning: Sleep well
History: During Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. In order to make the bed firmer, one had to pull the ropes to tighten the mattress.

So in conclusion, let me Break The Ice by inviting you to visit The Storage Inn for all of your self storage and packing needs. We promise not to give you The Cold Shoulder, and may even Butter You Up a bit – and if you rent from us, you’ll be able to Sleep Tight, knowing that all of your items are safe & secure!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!!

 

Breaking News – What’s the Big Scoop on Eating Ice Cream in July?!

Holy Frozen Cow! The crew here at the Storage Inn has just been informed that July is National Ice Cream Month. This made us all so happy that we jumped for joy and decided to share our ice cream enthusiasm with everyone! Now, as a nation, we all have a great reason to curb our diets and celebrate with ice cream!

How did this amazing discovery come about you ask? Well, as the manager at the Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township, I have the wonderful opportunity to speak with so many storage rental customers everyday. Today I was having a conversation with one of our tenants, Mr Giordano.

I’ve always known that Mr. Giordano is a teacher because he stores his extra classroom items in a storage unit all summer long. But! it turns out that he also has a very delightful summer job. He’s an ice cream man!

That’s right! – During the hot summer months you can find Mr. Giordano cruising around your neighborhood in that big white truck that plays the music you can hear from 5 blocks away!

During our conversation, he informed me that July is indeed National Ice Cream Month; so in honor of National Ice Cream Month and Mr. Giordano, here are some fun facts about America’s favorite frozen treat…

Fun Facts About Ice Cream

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by over 90 percent of the nation’s population.

The waffle cone was created at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis when Abe Doumar, a traveling salesman, encouraged an ice cream vendor to serve their ice cream on rolled waffles made by another nearby vendor when they ran out of paper dishes.

The first known ice cream recipe was handwritten in the recipe book of Lady Anne Fanshawe in 1665, and it was flavored with orange flower water, mace, or ambergris – an intestinal fluid from sperm whales.

Chocolate ice cream was invented long before vanilla, and the first documented recipe for it appeared in the book The Modern Steward, published in Italy in 1692.

Vanilla ice cream may be the default flavor today, but it was quite exotic and rare in the late 1700’s, as vanilla was difficult to acquire before the mid-19th century.

Many ice cream flavors popular in the colonial era in the United States are still mainstays – vanilla, strawberry, pistachio, coffee – but others, like oyster, parmesan, and asparagus – didn’t have staying power.

The Häagen-Dazs brand was established by two Americans – Reuben and Rose Mattus – and the name was made up to sound Danish and sophisticated.

Ben & Jerry’s was the first company to sell chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in 1991, and the flavor was created based on an anonymous suggestion on a board in their Burlington, Vt., shop.

Food photographers frequently use modified mashed potatoes as a stand-in for actual ice cream in photos.

“Brain Freeze” happens because the nerve endings on the roof of your mouth are not used to being cold, and they send a message to your brain signaling a loss of body heat.

Apple pie a la mode was invented at the Cambridge Hotel in New York when a customer named Professor Charles Watson Townshend regularly ordered ice cream with his apple pie. Another diner, Berry Hall, coined the dish’s name.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors are full of chunky mix-ins in part because co-founder Ben Cohen has no sense of scent, and a lot of his pleasure in ice cream comes from its texture.

The sundae was invented when soda jerks in the late 1890s bowed to criticism from religious leaders for serving “sinfully” rich ice cream sodas on Sundays. They started serving the ice cream and syrups without soda water and called it a “sundae.”

Dreyer’s and Edy’s are the same brand, but the latter name is used in the East and Midwestern United States, and the former is used in the West and Texas.

Hawaiian Punch was originally created and marketed as a syrup intended as an ice cream topping, but it became more popular mixed with water as a drink.

Professional ice cream taste-testers use special gold spoons which allow the tester to taste the product with virtually no trace of flavor left over from what was last on the spoon.

Blue Bell Creamery and Dreyer’s/Edy’s both claim to have invented cookies and cream ice cream, and there is no substantial proof as to which brand was actually first.

The earliest versions of Neapolitan ice cream were made of green pistachio, white vanilla, and red cherry ice cream and was made to resemble the Italian flag.

So, there you have it, a few things that you might not have known about America’s favorite frozen treat!

Boy, all this talk about ice cream reminded me again of Mr. Giordano. Where’d he go? I was gonna, ahem, suggest I keep a close eye on his ice cream truck while he took his good ole time rummaging through his storage unit. 😉

Happy National Ice Cream Month Everyone!

 

 

 

The Storage Inn investigates the history of the American Hot Dog!

Hot Diggity Dog!

It’s Mid-July here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and It’s been very busy with customers running to and from their storage spaces. Most are retrieving summer items such as barbecue grills, lawn chairs, bicycles and even surfboards.

Just today, one of our storage customers, Carl, stopped in the office for a complimentary bottle of cold spring water, and was proud to announce to us that he had just purchased 200 hot dogs for his annual Hot Dog and Beer Barbecue party!

“Wow – a hot dog and beer party – sounds like fun! “ I said. “Yeah, we do it every year. We supply the hot dogs and beer, and all of our friends bring a side dish or anything else they wanna eat or drink. Always a great time!” Carl replied.

As Carl strode out of the eht storage rental office, I began to think…

“Wow, that’s a lot of hot dogs! – I wonder how many hot dogs Americans actually eat?” And what about that old saying folks like to use… “American as hot dogs and apple pie?”

“Did we invent hot dogs? “ I pondered. I decided to do some digging, and here’s what I found.

  • Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans consume seven billion hot dogs!
  • The most popular condiment is mustard. Then come onions, chili, ketchup, relish, and sauerkraut.
  • Nathan Handwerker opened Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs (which remains a Coney Island institution) in 1916.
  • To counteract the stories of unhealthy ingredients in hot dogs, Handwerker hired men to wear surgeon’s smocks and eat lunch in his restaurants.
  • The largest seller of hot dogs is 7-Eleven, with 100 million served annually.
  • If you ask for a “hot dog” in New Zealand, you’ll get it battered on a stick like a corn dog. To get one on a bun, you have to ask for an “American hot dog.”
  • A “Chicago-style” hot dog never includes ketchup.
  • According to Guinness, the most expensive hot dogs ever were 3/4-pound, 18-inch dogs sold for charity in 2012 at a Sacramento, California, restaurant. Topped with an impressive array of fancy condiments—moose milk cheese, maple-syrup bacon, organic baby greens, whole-grain mustard, and cranberries—the dogs cost $145.49 each, with proceeds donated to a children’s hospital.

  • The most hot dogs (with buns) consumed by one person in 10 minutes: 72 – Joey Chestnut holds the record set July 4th, 2017.
  • The world’s longest hot dog stretched 196.85 feet and was prepared by Japan’s Shizuoka Meat Producers in 2006.
  • In the 1880s or ’90s, frankfurters (from Germany) and wieners (from Austria) became known as “hot dogs”—possibly because of the sausages’ similarities to dachshunds .

So, there you have it – a little hot dog history! I never know what I’m going to learn talking to our customers here at The Storage Inn. Well, I’ve got to go – I have a sudden craving for a chili cheese dog and an ice cold beer!

 

Tips for keeping your pet safe and cool this summer.

6 Ways To Protect Your Dog From Summer Heat

The July heat is on here at The Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, but it doesn’t seem to slow down our self storage tenants. They just keep motoring to and from their storage spaces like the Energizer Bunny, stopping into our rental office every once in awhile for a complimentary bottle of ice cold spring water.

Today I had a visit from one of our tenants, Sergeant DiPiano – he’s a K-9 Officer, and always has his dog, Trooper, in the back of his vehicle. I asked him how Trooper handles the heat.

“No problem “ he answered “ He loves the AC! “ – “I do end up rescuing a couple of dogs from cars each summer”, he added. “I just wish people would realize how dangerous the heat is for their dogs!”.

Right about then he said he had something for me and headed out to his cruiser. He came back and handed me a stack of pamphlets entitled “6 Ways To Protect Your Dog From Summer Heat”.

Here are those tips courtesy of Sergeant DiPiano.

1. When the temperature is high, don’t let your dog linger on hot surfaces like asphalt and cement. Being so close to the ground can heat their body quickly and is also an invitation to burns on sensitive paw pads. Keep walks to a minimum.

2. Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut can help prevent overheating, but never shave to the skin. Dogs need one inch of protection to avoid getting sunburned.

3. Provide access to fresh water 
at all times. Make certain an outside dog has access to shade and plenty of cool water.

4. Restrict exercise when temperatures soar, and do not muzzle the dog because it inhibits their ability to pant.

5. Many dogs enjoy a swim, splashing in a wading pool, or a run through a sprinkler in warmer weather which can help bring body temperatures down.

6. Never leave your pet in a parked car! Not even if you park in the shade or plan to be gone for only a few minutes. The temperature inside of a car can reach oven-like temperatures in just minutes, often in excess of 140 degrees. That quick errand can turn into a disaster and could be fatal for your pet.

Any pet that cannot cool himself off is at risk for heat stroke, but some breeds and dogs with certain conditions are more susceptible. Heart disease, obesity, older age, or breathing problems put the dog at higher risk, and for these animals even normal activities in intense heat can be harmful. Dogs with shorter snouts – like Pugs or Bulldogs – have a harder time panting out their body heat, and certain breeds don’t tolerate the heat as well as others. This group includes English and French Bulldogs, Boxers, the Saint Bernard, Pugs, and Shih Tzu.

Well, there you have it folks, some great tips for keeping your pup cool in the summer; and if you bring your four legged friend with you to The Storage Inn, be sure to stop into the rental office for some ice cold spring water for both of you! Have a cool and happy summer!