Hamburgers and Americanism We Often Term Paper

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"Communities of all types also were affected by the growth of roadside business establishments that catered to the automobile. The two most important generic categories in this regard are facilities that provide fuel (the gas/filling / service station) and food (roadside/fast-food restaurants)." (Berger 2001, 193)

There is even a great deal of evidence that the hamburger and the fast food industry have transformed marketing and even the architecture of the U.S. through transforming the ease of use and creating iconography that represents the image of America all over the world, but particularly American roads.

More specific in terms of food, but not necessarily of architecture, is Jeffrey Tennyson's Hamburger Heaven: The Illustrated History of the Hamburger, which, among other things, treats the design of hamburger restaurants and fast-food chains in a chapter entitled "Architecture and Signage." broader perspective is offered in John F. Mariani's America Eats Out, wherein the author argues that restaurant architecture in general has evolved into an advertising device by which customers are attracted to a particular establishment (Berger 2001, 210)

The hamburger is a recognized icon in the national and international arenas as a truly American design, indicative of American growth and prosperity, and regardless of truth the ideology of the American dream. In an international sense the McDonalds corporation is a recognized trademark restaurant that operates in more than 100 nations and reflects American ingenuity and entrepreneurship to its most extreme. "James Cantalupo, President of McDonald's International, claims that the goal of McDonald's is to 'become as much a part of the local culture as possible.'" (Watson 1997, 12)

This local culture, claim may be the case but people on the street know the origin and history of McDonalds and the value of its most prized and frequently ordered menu item, the Hamburger.

A popular culture frequently measures its successes either in exquisitely refined statistics... Or in gross numbers (the billionth hamburger produced by McDonald's was celebrated by its presentation to Art Linkletter, the host of a popular American television program, in 1963)." (Betts 2004, 1)

The exponential numbers are posted today at the bottom of every McDonalds restaurant sign, not an uncommon sight, and likely to read billions but more likely to be trillions.
Though McDonalds is not alone in its quest to make sure that every individual alive today has the opportunity to eat one of these American Icons, as Burger King, Carl's Jr., Wendy's, Jack in the Box and at least ten other iconic fast food restaurants serve food to the world at an exponential rate, and most notably with the favorite item again being the hamburger in one or another of its forms. In fact some even use the hamburger as an analogy to modern convenience shopping found all over the developed world.

The many vast structures that define our urban environment today, however, contain collections of shops and concessions that were previously seldom mixed together, except in the covered arcades that appeared in cities like London, Brussels, Paris and Milan. Often defined as 'centers, ' these contemporary multi-purpose structures, found in every major urban site today, are analogous to nothing so much as the most popular fast-food product of our time: a mouth-stretching hamburger with two patties, cheese, tomatoes and the like. Stacked up, joined together, the ingredients are configured into one desirable object." (Betts 2004, 109)

The money that has been made, feeding the proletariat with one of their favorite meals, the hamburger is a success story only America could produce and so the bumper sticker should actually read "As American as the Hamburger." Who even makes apple pie anymore?

Works Cited

Berger, Michael L. 2001. The Automobile in American History and Culture: A Reference Guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Betts, Raymond F. 2004. A History of Popular Culture: More of Everything, Faster, and Brighter. New York: Routledge.

Cudahy, Brian J. 1990. Cash, Tokens, and Transfers: A History of Urban Mass Transit in North America. New York: Fordham University Press.

Hamburger today website at

INVENTIVE LAND; See Early Patent Models in Arlington. 2003. The Washington Times, March 30, D04.

Rozin, Elizabeth, 1994. The Primal Cheeseburger: A Generous Helping of Food History Served

On a Bun New York: Penguin Press.

Watson, James L., ed. 1997. McDonald's in East Asia McDonald's….....

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