A Brief History
Last year on August 14, 2014, we ran a list of wonderful products named after the city they are associated with or came from. This year we will repeat the process, and name 10 more such wonderful products. We will try to cover many different types of products. (We may get a little liberal with what we include as a city, and expand it to include a state, region, or country this time.)
10. Kentucky Long Rifle.
The long barreled, graceful looking, muzzle loading rifle of the 18th and 19th Centuries was designed as a hunting rifle in the German tradition, with a smaller caliber (often around .40 to .50 caliber) and a rifled bore (for increased accuracy) as opposed to the larger (around .70 caliber) smooth bore muskets of the time. These weapons were wonderfully accurate, and could put game on the table or serve as the first sniper rifles in combat against the enemies of America. (Note: This gun is basically the same thing as the Pennsylvania Long Rifle, but apparently with a better publicist as the rifles actually originated in the Quaker State.) Sometimes known as The American Long Rifle to avoid showing state favoritism.
9. The Manhattan Cocktail.
Made from whiskey (preferably Rye Whiskey), sweet vermouth and bitters, the traditional story is that it originated in the Manhattan Club of New York City in the 1870’s. It is considered one of the six “basic drinks” by beverage author David Embury (The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks). This potent drink can be served straight or over ice.
8. Long Island Iced Tea.
This beverage is not your grandmother’s front porch sipping tea, as it is a potent mix of Vodka, Tequila, Light Rum, Gin, and Triple Sec. Throw in a splash of cola to give the drink its Ice Tea appearance and add ice. Of course, variations exist, but for the most part this is a sneaky potent potable that is easy to over drink.
7. Denver Boot.
Invented way back in 1944, it was not patented until 1958 by a Denver professional musician, Frank Marugg. This item is a metal wheel clamp that immobilizes illegally parked cars so that they do not have to be towed. The owner does not get the Boot off the car until the fine is paid, resulting in greatly increased revenue for the city. Of course, if you have been on the receiving end of this invention you may not consider it “wonderful” and include it in a list of “diabolical” products.
6. Denver Omelet.
An omelet filled with diced ham, onions and green peppers, with variations that include cheese or covering the omelet with fried potatoes. A much tastier product than the Denver Boot. Honorable mention to the Western Omelet, named for the American West.
5. Thousand Island Dressing.
Not only good on a salad, where would your Reuben sandwich be without it? It’s even often used as “secret sauce” on hamburgers. Consisting of Mayonnaise, citrus juice, olive oil, Paprika, mustard, cream, vinegar, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, ketchup or tomato paste, pickles, green peppers, onions, chives, eggs, nuts or any combination of most of these, this complicated dressing was allegedly invented by the wife of a fishing guide on the St. Lawrence River in the 1000 Islands region around the late 19th Century.
4. Old Milwaukee and Milwaukee’s Best Beers.
Milwaukee considers itself the beer capital of the US (maybe the world), so it is not surprising brewers would capitalize on that reputation by naming their product with the name of the city famous for beer. Honorable mention to Samuel Adams’ Boston Lager, and Cleveland’s P.O.C, beer, dubbed by Clevelanders as “Pride of Cleveland.” (The author, formerly a beer drinker, liked all these named beers rather well.)
3. Carolina Barbecue.
Actually, 2 main North Carolina variations and 3 main South Carolina variations, the main ingredient of each is pork, usually pulled, shredded, sliced or chopped. Having a “pig roast” where the whole pig is roasted in an old metal barrel and then treated with whatever regional sauce when cut up is a taste treat worthy of the Gods. Honorable mention to St. Louis Style Ribs and Kansas City Style Ribs.
2. New York Strip Steak.
The larger, not as tender part of a T-Bone steak, many people find this to be the more flavorful half. Still, it is a tender steak as it comes from a large muscle in the beef cattle that does not work hard. A variety called Delmonico Steak is also well known, named for the restaurant that popularized it. Other variations include the Boston Strip and Kansas City Strip. (These are tasty steaks, but for me, Ribeye.)
Too many cities and places have been used to name all the motor vehicles, but here are some (over 50!) that rapidly come to mind: Bel Air, Biscayne, Monterey, New Yorker, Yukon, Santa Fe, Malibu, Tucson, Dakota, Colorado, Le Mans, Somona, Lucerne, Modena, Berlinetta, Maranello, Murano, Aurora, Saturn (the ultimate place name!), Montreal, Mulsanne, Park Avenue, Calais, Corsica, Del Ray, Tahoe, Cordoba, Seville, Sebring, Aspen, 5th Avenue, Daytona, Fairmont, California, Granada, Monaco, Newport, Denali, Sebring, Milan, Montego, Montclair, Bonneville, Catalina, Parisienne, Tacoma, Baja, Montana, Sedona, Rio, Vera Cruz, Versailles, and of course, the Rambler American. Incredibly, there are more.
Question for students (and subscribers): What items would you add to the list? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
MacNabb, Matt. A Secret History of Brands: The Dark and Twisted Beginnings of the Brand Names We Know and Love. Pen & Sword History, 2017.