A Brief History of Coney Island

Posted by Michael Quinn on

The Coney Island we know today has become synonymous with amusement parks, its status as a summer hotspot, and for being the home of the original hot dog. If you delve into its history, it’s an enriching and fascinating story of luxury hotels, strange sights, and more.

At one point in its history, Coney Island was a resort paradise. In 1829 the first ever hotel was built, dubbed the Coney Island House. In the 1830s and 1840s well-to-do vacationers arrived in increasingly large numbers, transported by then upscale means which included carriages. Soon thereafter, more upscale hotels emerged such as the Brighton Beach Hotel and Oriental Hotel. After steamship and railway service was introduced, Coney Island’s popularity had surged and a number of peculiar attractions were introduced. The Inexhaustible Cow, for example, consisted of a mechanical cow that would dispense glasses of ice milk from its udders for a mere five cents. The Elephantine Colossus was a seven-story hotel that, much like its name, was indeed shaped like an elephant.

By the 1920s, Coney Island had transformed from its former status as a paradise for the wealthy into a working class weekend escape and its popularity would continue even after World War II. Today, most of the stranger sights it once boasted are gone yet Coney Island continues to grab the imagination and remains quite popular with beachgoers. Stop by, explore, and don’t forget to try Feltman’s, the best hot dog NYC.

This update is by Feltman’s of Coney Island, a symbol of American tradition and quality for decades and the proud maker of the original hot dog originally founded by its namesake Charles Feltman, the inventor of the first hot dog. Feltman’s hot dogs are free of nitrates and artificial ingredients, using all natural beef to create an experience that explodes with incredible, original flavor. For more information, please visit one of the locations in Brooklyn or Feltman’s Kitchen on St. Marks Place in the East Village to try some of the best hot dogs in the country.