Fun Facts about White Castle

In the third post of our series about the history of White Castle restaurants we report some interesting company trivia.

  • First company newsletter published in 1926 was called the “Hot Hamburger”
  • Walt Anderson and Billy Ingram had an airplane to travel to their restaurants
Walt Anderson and Billy Ingram with their airplane.

Walt Anderson and Billy Ingram with their airplane.

  • Design of the classic porcelain steel White Castles was based on the Chicago Water Tower
  • Created first movable metal building in 1928
  • First White Castle opens in Columbus on June 3, 1929 at 49 S. Front St. Typical of early locations, it was on a small lot in the central city

Exterior view of the first White Castle restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio.

Exterior view of the first White Castle restaurant opened in Columbus, Ohio.


Poster advertising the health benefits of White Castle hamburgers.

Poster advertising the health benefits of White Castle hamburgers.

  • In 1930 a medical student lived on nothing but White Castle hamburgers and water for 13 weeks and maintained good health
  • During World War II the Porcelain Steel Buildings division that normally fabricated the metal restaurant buildings and fixtures made parts for amphibious trucks used by the U.S. Army called “ducks”
  • Flew White Castle hamburgers to U.S. Marines stationed in Beirut, Lebanon in 1982
  • It would take roughly 9,966,840 White Castle burgers to fill the Archives/Library Research Room on the third floor of the Ohio History Center per our staff’s calculations
Research Room on the third floor of the Ohio History Center.

Research Room on the third floor of the Ohio History Center.

  • On three griddles a White Castle can cook 2,000 hamburgers an hour
  • In 1992 Ernest L. Meyer took White Castle hamburgers from St. Louis to Antarctica; they were still hot.
  • St. Louis, not the company headquarters Columbus, is the city in which White Castle has had restaurants for the longest period of time

The Ohio History Connection Archives/Library has held the White Castle System, Inc. corporate records since 1995. They are available to the public for research in the Archives/Library Research Room, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM. Things you can find in the corporate records include, but are not limited to:

  • Restaurant history files track when restaurants were opened and closed
  • Minutes of annual meeting minutes document corporate decisions
  • Company newsletters report milestones and information about employees
  • Product packages, advertising materials and photographs covering decades

Example of White Castle coupon that was once distributed in the Cincinnati area from the White Castle corporate archives.

Example of White Castle coupon that was once distributed in the Cincinnati area from the White Castle corporate archives.


A selection of photographs and posters from the White Castle records have been digitized. Click here to view the White Castle Digital Collection in our digital library, Ohio Memory.

Lisa Wood, Curator for Visual Resources

Sources of Information:

All This from a 5-cent Hamburger! The Story of the White Castle System by E.W. Ingram, Sr.

Selling ’em by the Sack, White Castle and the Creation of American Food by David Gerard Hogan

By the Sackful, A Scrapbook with Recipes from 85 Years of White Castle Craving edited by Nicki Pendleton Wood for White Castle Management Company

This entry was posted in collections, Digital Projects, Manuscript Collections, Photograph Collections. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fun Facts about White Castle

  1. I am from Indianapolis Indiana born and raised. I can remember eating white castle hamburger, s since I was a small child. I’m now 54 and living in Arkansas, been here since 1981.and I still grave a white castle burger. How come there is no restaurant down here in Arkansas. If I could afford it I would pay you to put your restaurant here. I know there in the stores but come on we both know there’s nothing like a fresh one.i talked to a lot of people and they wish there was a restaurant here as well. So please can you give me some kind of information or better yet HOPE!

    • ohiohistory says:

      Hi,

      While the Ohio History Connection partners with the company to maintain their archives, we do not have any influence over where restaurants are located. On the company web site they do have information about the “Crave Mobile” and you can create a “Craver” login to engage with them. Here is the link: http://www.whitecastle.com/. Good luck on your quest to get fresh sliders in Arkansas!

      L. Wood, Curator for Visual Resources

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