It was not Nathan Handwerker—a Jewish immigrant from Poland who went on to start Nathan's Famous—who brought the hot dog to Coney Island, but rather Charles Feltman (1841-1910), a German butcher who's credited with the idea of selling pork sausages on a warm bun, sometime around 1867. Feltman reportedly sold 3,684 sausages on a roll during his first year in business, pushing around a wagon to hungry beachgoers. The popular item ultimately sold for ten cents a pop and enabled Feltman to build a mini-empire with a hotel, beer gardens, restaurants, food stands, and amusements. All hot dog money. And Nathan Handwerker? He slept on the floor of Feltman's kitchen, which is all that remains of Feltman's legacy, and it's going to be demolished.
"Handwerker’s job was slicing hot dog rolls and delivering the franks to the guys who toiled at the grilling stations," writes Amusing the Zillion. "The young man lived on free hot dogs... to save his $11 per week salary. At the end of the year, he’d saved $300 and opened a competing stand-5 cents a hot dog instead of 10 cents. That was the beginning of Nathan’s Famous and the downfall of Feltman’s, which went out of business in 1952." The property became Astroland Park, and now all that's left is the kitchen. It was used as a workshop for the rides, and though it's not much to look at, this was arguably the spot where a legendary hot dog empire was first dreamed up. Nevertheless, it's among the structures to be torn down on land recently purchased by the city.