Crazy Christmas Traditions from Around the World!

‘Tis the Season…for Giant Goats and Roller Skates!

Happy Holidays from The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, and Ocean City, New Jersey! Christmas is almost here, and our self storage staff and rental unit customers are all in the Holiday spirit. We are all looking forward to enjoying our traditional holiday activities including big family gatherings, trimming the tree, opening gifts, turkey dinners, and football games.

Recently one of our storage customers who is originally from South America, told me about a Christmas tradition in her country that I could hardly believe. See if you can pick it out of this list of unusual holiday celebrations around the world!

Giant Lantern Festival, Philippines
Looking for some festive sparkle? The Giant Lantern Festival  in the Philippines is held each year on the Saturday before Christmas Eve in the city of San Fernando. The festival attracts spectators from all over the country and across the globe. Eleven villages take part in trying to build the most elaborate lantern. The original two foot paper lanterns have evolved over the years into twelve foot elaborate kaleidoscope creations.

Caribbean Snow, Cayman Islands

Think it can’t snow in the Caribbean? Well it can – sort of… It’s common during the Christmas season to see Cayman cottages with their front yards covered with sand carried up from the beach, and lined with sea shells, to simulate snow.

Krampus, Austria
There’s an Austrian tradition where St. Nicholas rewards nice little boys and girls, while Krampus, a beast-like demon creature, roams city streets frightening kids and punishing the bad ones! He is said to capture the naughtiest children and whisk them away in his sack. In the first week of December, young men dress up as the Krampus (especially on the eve of St. Nicholas Day) frightening children with clattering chains and bells.

Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner, Japan
Christmas has never been a big deal in Japan and it remains largely a novelty in the country. However, a new, quirky “tradition” has emerged in recent years – a Christmas Day feast of the Colonel’s very own Kentucky Fried Chicken. The festive menu is advertised on the KFC Japan website and reservations are recommended.

Gävle Goat, Sweden
Since 1966, a 40 foot tall Yule Goat has been built in the center of Gävle’s Castle Square for the Advent, but this Swedish Christmas tradition has unwittingly led to another “tradition” of sorts – people trying to burn it down. Since 1966 the Goat has been successfully burned down 29 times – the most recent destruction was in 2016.

If you want to see how the Goat fares this year when it goes up on December 1st, you can follow its progress on the Visit Gävle website through a live video stream.

The Yule Lads, Iceland
In the 13 days leading up to Christmas, 13 tricky, troll-like characters come out to play in Iceland. The “Yule Lads” visit children across the country over the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. For each night of Yuletide, children place their best shoes by the window and a different Yule Lad visits leaving gifts for nice girls and boys and rotten potatoes for the naughty ones.

Saint Nicholas’ Day, Germany
Nikolaus travels by donkey in the middle of the night on December 6th, and leaves little treats like coins, chocolates, oranges and toys in the shoes of good children all over Germany, but it isn’t always fun and games. St. Nick often brings along Knecht Ruprecht (Farmhand Rupert). A devil-like character dressed in dark clothes covered with bells and a dirty beard, Knecht Ruprecht carries a stick or a small whip in hand to punish any children who misbehave.

Brooms in Norway
Perhaps one of the most unorthodox Christmas Eve traditions can be found in Norway, where people hide their brooms. It’s a tradition that dates back centuries to when people believed that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. To this day, many people still hide their brooms in the safest place in the house to stop them from being stolen.

Rolling into Christmas,  Caracas, Venezuela
Every Christmas Eve, the city’s residents head to church in the early morning, but, for reasons known only to them, they do so on roller skates.
This unique tradition is so popular that roads across the city are closed to cars so that people can skate to church in safety. Afterwards everyone heads home for the less-than-traditional Christmas dinner of ‘tamales’!

So, there you have some of the most unusual holiday traditions from around the world. We here at The Storage Inn, wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season. I’ve got to go now – I need to oil up my rollerblades and make my Christmas reservations at KFC!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It’s December here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and the winter weather officially arrived over the past week! But despite all the white stuff, our storage customers shuttle to and from their storage units,  retrieving decorations, and hiding gifts for the holidays in their storage units. Here in Southern New Jersey, we are very lucky (or unlucky if you are a snow lover) that we average just a foot or two of snow annually. Watching the snow melt away today made me wonder, who gets the most snow, and where? Here are some of the biggest snow events in history, and snowiest cities in the USA…

Crazy Snow Events!

Most skiers know about the phenomenal snow year of 1998-1999 in Washington State’s Mt. Baker ski area. 1,140 inches (95 feet) of snow fell to the ground over the course of the ski season. That amount of snow would cover the White House by 25 feet.

In Mount Rainier National Park, at the Paradise Ranger station, 1,224.5 inches (102 feet) of snow fell between February 19, 1971 and February 18, 1972. That’s equal to the height of a 10 story building.

At Thompson Pass in Alaska, they enjoyed or suffered through, depending on your opinion, a great or horrific year in the winter of 1952-1953. That’s when 974.1 inches (81 feet) fell from the heavens. In 1963, that same area saw 78 inches fall in one 24 hour period!

Massive snowfalls are not only found in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. The coastal town of Valdez, Alaska sees an annual average of 320 inches, and that’s at sea level! The winter of 1989-90 is in the record books as Valdez’s snowiest winter ever, with a total of 560.7 inches (46 feet) of snow.

Silver Lake, Colorado saw 76 inches of snow in a 24 hour period. But the storm did not stop after 24 hours. When it all ended 32.5 hours later, 95 inches lay on the ground. That is an average of 2.9 inches an hour.

In 1982, Mother Nature dropped 186.6 inches on Donner Summit, California. In fact Donner Pass, has topped 775 inches of snow on four separate occasions, making it one of the snowiest places in North America.

Top Ten Snowiest Cities in The United States

  1. Syracuse, NY – Annual Snowfall 110 inches
  2. Erie, PA – Annual Snowfall 89 inches
  3. Rochester, NY – Annual Snowfall 88 inches
  4. Buffalo, NY – Annual Snowfall 83 inches
  5. Flagstaff, AZ – Annual Snowfall 82 inches
  6. Utica, NY – Annual Snowfall 78 inches
  7. Grand Rapids, MI – Annual Snowfall 66 inches
  8. Diluth, MN – Annual Snowfall 63 inches
  9. Cleveland, OH – Annual Snowfall 60.5 inches
  10. South Bend, IN – Annual Snowfall 60 inches

Well, as the snow continues to melt here at The Storage Inn – I think I’ll have a nice cup of hot chocolate, and be thankful that we didn’t break any records for snowfall! That would be a lot of shoveling! – Happy Winter!

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!

Military Families on the Move

Moving is part of everyday life for military personnel. Soldiers and their families may be asked to relocate every 2 to 4 years. These moves often take place with short notice, requiring quick planning.

Military personnel who are about to deploy have a lot of choices to make regarding what items to take with them, and what to place into storage. A self storage unit can be a great option, not only for furniture, electronics, and appliances, but also storing a vehicle such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats. Your local self storage facility will likely offer military self storage discounts for storage units as well as packing supplies, and possibly even the free use of a moving truck or moving van like we offer at The Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township, NJ , and The Storage Inn II of Ocean City NJ. Most military bases have self storage facilities located near to them that offer secure gated storage – some even have resident security managers and climate controlled storage units. Many storage facilities also offer your choice of affordable indoor or outdoor space for vehicle storage.

Surface Deployment and Distribution Command are part of relocation departments designed to help military families with their moves. These departments also offer moving check lists like the one below.

Moving Tips for Military Families

Military families are expert movers! Here are some tips for moving with the military that should help make the moving process as smooth as possible!

1. Have a playbook with the moving orders, important dates and other documentation. Create a detailed list of everything that is to be moved.

2. Begin “decluttering” as soon as possible. Sort through items and designate them as sell, donate, or store – having less items to pack and move helps reduce stress on moving day

3. Have family and friends help with cleaning the old home when it is empty. It is also recommended to pre-clean the bathroom and kitchen in your new home.

4. Pack a “Go” bag for the first day at your new home with items such as sheets, towels, shower curtains and soap. Military families may not be able to control what goes where on their moving trucks, making it difficult to find items like laundry soap, brooms, mops, and household cleaners until the truck is completely unpacked. Quick and efficient planning is the key, but then, being quick and efficient is probably second nature to most military family members!

If you’re a member of a military family, The folks at The Storage Inn would love to help. Stop in and see us, and Thank You for your service! Happy Veterans Day!

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!

Storage Inn Tips for Storing Your Summer Toys

Summer Fun Toys – Winter Storage

It’s official folks – Fall is here, and for self storage facilities like The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, it is the time of the year when the Summer convertibles, Wave Runners, ATVs, and Motorcycles begin to roll in, as preparation for winter storage begins. Whether you’re renting indoor storage space, or an outdoor parking space, there’s more to storing your summer toys then just dropping them off until next Spring. You need to do some preventative maintenance first. Here are some Winter storage tips to keep your toys in top condition and ready to run next summer.

Keeping the Convertible Comfy!
Detail your vehicle prior to storage. This will help to weather the Winter and make it easier to get back on the road in the Spring.


– Use a fuel stabilizer to avoid Spring starting problems.

– Get a fresh oil change and check tire pressure.

– Place a cover over your car to prevent moisture buildup and paint scratching. Fabric covers that breathe are ideal.


Putting the Two Wheeled Baby to Bed!
– Wash your motorcycle to remove dirt and insects.
Wax and buff your bike to protect the paint.
Clean and condition any of the bike’s leather.
Do an oil change and change the oil filter.
Add fresh fluids to your bike (brake fluid, antifreeze, fuel stabilizer.)
Ensure your battery is fully charged and then disconnect the negative cable (or connect it to a battery tender).
Cover your motorcycle with a breathable fabric cover.


Storage Care for the Quad!
– Winterizing your ATV depends on the type of engine. Check your owner’s manual for specific storage instructions.
– For engines with a carburetor, drain the fuel out of the carburetor.
– Hook up a battery tender or unplug the battery before storing.
– For fuel-injection engines: You don’t have to drain the fuel, but a gas additive or fuel stabilizer is often recommended for winter storage.Leave as little fuel in the tank as possible, in case of fire.


TLC for your PWC!
– Drain the fuel or use a fuel stabilizer.
– Disconnect the battery or hook it up to a battery tender.
– Clean and dry your jet ski before you store it to prevent mildew.
– Open any storage hatches and lift the seat so air can flow and dry-out your machine in storage.

Whether you choose an indoor storage space, or an outdoor parking space for your summer toys, the staff here at The Storage Inn will be happy to help. Now is the time to reserve your winter storage space, so stop on in!  As for me, I plan to stretch the summer as far into the fall as possible – Happy Motoring!

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!