Famous Nathan

Lloyd Handw­erk­er with Gil Reavill
  • From the Publisher
May 3, 2016

Start­ing with just five feet of counter space on Coney Island’s unde­vel­oped board­walk, Nathan Handw­erk­er opened Nathan’s Famous, a busi­ness that quick­ly spanned the globe, launch­ing the hot­dog as an Amer­i­can food sta­ple and Nathan him­self to nation­al fame.

Born in 1892 to a poor Jew­ish fam­i­ly of 13 in East­ern Europe, Nathan become an appren­tice at a bak­ery in a vil­lage near his fam­i­ly. Liv­ing in the store, he learned the val­ue of hard work and devel­oped an appre­ci­a­tion for good food and how it can bring peo­ple togeth­er. When it came time to emi­grate to Amer­i­ca, Nathan brought only the shoes on his feet, $28.00 in his pock­et, and a deter­mi­na­tion to suc­ceed. His jour­ney was one of con­stant strug­gle, incred­i­ble hard­ship, and sheer force of will. His sto­ry pro­vides a win­dow into the immi­grant expe­ri­ence, detail­ing the inner work­ings of a suc­cess­ful busi­ness and por­tray­ing the riotous land­scape of Coney Island dur­ing the glo­ry years of the last cen­tu­ry.

Famous Nathan chron­i­cles the extra­or­di­nary life of an immi­grant look­ing for a bet­ter life for him­self and his family.

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