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Nathan Handwerker started his own Coney Island boardwalk business in 1916 ('Nathan's') to sell hot dogs for a nickel. Reportedly this was on the advice of a singing waiter and his piano player, Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante.
Supposedly he hired young men to wear white coats with stethoscopes around their necks to stand near his carts and eat his hot dogs, giving the impression of purity and cleanliness.
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