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The Complete History of American Food Trucks
The history of American food trucks dates back many years as mobile dining and street food have been part of American’s dining habits since the late 17th century where it could be found in many of the larger cities on the east coast. Since then, food trucks have taken a front seat in the world of American street food and are part of an ongoing food revolution.
A brief history of the mobile food industry in the United States:
1691 – New Amsterdam (now known as New York City) begins regulating street vendors selling food from push carts.
1850’s – Dining cars begin feeding cross country train passengers.
1866 – The Chuck wagon is invented by Charles Goodnight to feed cattlemen and wagon trains traversing the old West.
1872 – The first diner is setup in a horse-drawn freight wagon.
1894 – Sausage vendors sell their wares outside the student dorms at major eastern universities (Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Cornell), and their carts became known as “dog wagons”.
1917 – The US Army mobile canteens (field kitchens) begin to feed the troops.
1936 – Oscar Mayer rolls out the first portable hot dog cart The Weiner Mobile.
1950’s – Ice cream trucks begin selling their frozen treats.
1960’s – Roach coaches make their presence known to construction sites around the country.
1974 – Raul Martinez converted an old ice cream truck into the nation’s first taco truck and parked it outside of an East Los Angeles bar.