The Insanely True, Delicious, Ridiculous History of the Hamburger


There is one thing for certain that the entire human race can agree on: hamburgers are super tasty.

Find even the staunchest of vegans, vegetarians or pescatarians, and they’d be hard-pressed to tell you otherwise. Sure, the whole “I don’t eat animals” thing might be hard for them to swallow, but they know, deep in the caverns of their vegetable-laden hearts, that hamburgers are a taste sensation that makes life that much sweeter.

But have you ever considered where the hamburger came from? Where was it invented? How did it become the national trademark for the United States menu? Let’s explore, shall we?

37 Million Years Ago

Dinosaurs ruled the earth. One little known fact is that purely by accident, after rolling around in a wheat field, a little known Tyrannosaurus Rex named Carl accidentally made bread. Then, by chance dropped a large chunk of woolly mammoth meat onto some bread. That was history’s first “hamburger.” Scientists still debate to this day whether or not hamburgers should in fact be called “Wooly Burgers.”


After 36 million years of no hamburger conversation, a West Texas, Arkansas man named Carl saddled up to a saloon and ordered “meat on bread.” The story, as it goes, caused the bartender to look suspiciously at the man and say “You mean a Wooly Burger?” The man looked back at the bartender, with steely eyes and noted, “You must know that I was a T-Rex in my former life, don’t ya?” The man then dueled to the death. No burger was served.


McDonald’s opened. They put ketchup on hamburgers. History was made.

Sure, there were some minor things that happened along the way too: something about some guy named the Earl of Sandwich. Something about the mass production of pressed meat. Pickles. But who really cares?

The one thing we all need to appreciate about the history of the hamburger is how it changed dining, especially in the United States of America forever.

In the modern age, hamburgers are no longer limited to just ham. Or beef. Or lamb. Hamburgers, especially those in ultra-funky hipster locales like your random metropolitan area and/or Brooklyn can hook you up with the most interesting hamburger delicacies you could ever imagine with the most insane toppings you can think of.

Here is a random sampling of hamburger menu items at craft burger places around the country:

The Trump Burger

A McDonald’s plain hamburger with a wisp of wig hair topping and side of ketchup dipping sauce.

The World Wrestling Entertainment Burger

It has the allusion of hamburger meat but is in fact just a hollow, inflatable, burger covered in three pounds of ketchup and mustard. You don’t actually eat the burger, but simply pretend to take a bite out of it.

The Middle East Burka Burger

A very fancy, well-kept burger that comes wrapped in a burka that can never be removed.

There You Have It

As you can see, the boundless creativity that the hamburger has delivered to the Earth continues to grow year after year.

So, what’s next for our favorite little beef biscuit? A Bigfoot Burger? A Unicorn Burger? An Invisible Burger? There’s no limit to the next phase of burger history.

We’re just proud to be part of it…and also would definitely be interested in a Bigfoot Burger – or any mythological creature burger, for that matter.