It’s National Cheeseburger Day!

by Toby J. Swaford, K-12 Education Coordinator

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Louis Ballast, born in 1910, has affected the lives of almost every man, woman, and child in this great nation of ours. Lou was the operator of the Humpty-Dumpty Barrel; a restaurant located in downtown Denver. As such, he was constantly looking for ways to improve his simple meals and attract more customers. In a moment of inspiration he put a slice of cheese on a hamburger. The cheese melted over the freshly grilled meat patty, filling every nook and cranny with delicious, dairy goodness.

And good it was; so good in fact that Louis Ballast applied for a patent on his invention, which he christened ‘The Cheeseburger’ in March 1935. Sure, other places have claimed to be the home of the cheeseburger, and perhaps others had combined cheese with their hamburgers earlier than Louis, but he had the foresight to seek the patent. As with so many things, the term cheeseburger has become somewhat generic, but it all started right here in colorful Colorado.

Sadly, the Humpty-Dumpty Barrel no longer exists, having burned to the ground many years ago. There is an historical marker located at its former site located at 2776 N. Speer Blvd, in Denver, Colorado.

Show some state pride by having a cheeseburger today!

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September 2009
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