Hot dog seller Harry Stevens remembered with blue plaque
THE man often credited with inventing the American hot dog is among 22 famous historic Derby residents to be commemorated with blue plaques in the city.
Having lived in Derby in the 1870s, caterer Henry Stevens emigrated to the USA in the 1880s.
He served his dachshund sausages in bread rolls at American sports grounds, where they became a popular snack.
Now he has been named among the first 22 people to be commemorated in the blue plaque scheme, run by Derby City Council and Derby Civic Society.
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The names were picked after people in the city were asked to say whom they wanted to be recognised.
A total of 40 people submitted suggestions and the council says most of those suggested will get a plaque.
Others selected for recognition include 18th-century painter Joseph Wright, composer Ronald Binge and Derby County and England footballer Steve Bloomer.
Plaques will be made of cast iron and accompanied with codes that smartphone users can scan to get more information.
David Ling, civic society chairman, said his group was delighted that the plaques scheme had been agreed, "more than 10 years" after its members first started campaigning for it.
He said: "All of the figures that have been selected were picked by the public.
"We are delighted that Derby City Council has agreed to back the scheme.
"Derby Civic Society sees this as an important first step in honouring the people who shaped our heritage."
Mr Stevens is among several people whom history credits as having invented the American hot dog, including a German woman who sold sausages in buns on the streets of St Louis, Missouri, in 1880. He also invented a scoring system for American baseball, which is still used today. His blue plaque will be put up at 21 Russell Street, Derby – his first marital home prior to his migration.
It will go up, along with the other 19, in the spring and further plaques set to be placed in future years.
To qualify for recognition from a blue plaque, historic figures must have been dead for at least 20 years and cannot be commemorated in a significant way by another public memorial.
Councillor Hardyal Dhindsa, cabinet member for planning, said: "We hope eventually to be able to erect plaques to all suggestions who meet the terms."