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Ten facts about 90-year-old White Castle

WASHINGTON DC - JUNE 14:  White Castle employees cook their slider burgers before delivering them U.S. Capitol celebrate company's

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 14: White Castle employees cook their slider burgers before delivering them at the U.S. Capitol to celebrate the company's 90th anniversary with a "Castles at the Capitol" event June 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives of the Columbus, Ohio-based company hand-delivered their slider burgers to waiting congressional employees during their lunch hour. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) R:\Merlin\Getty_Photos\GYI0065160592.jpg

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Updated: August 3, 2011 9:24PM

White Castle is marking its 90th anniversary this year. Here are some fun facts:

◆White Castle, the first hamburger fast food chain, opened in March 10, 1921, in Wichita, Kansas, with the help of a $700 loan.

◆The chain was founded by short-order cook Walter Anderson and former reporter Edgar W. “Billy” Ingram, who selected the name because “white” signified purity and “castle” signified strength and permanence.

◆Ingram, who often visited Chicago as a reporter, modeled his restaurant’s architecture on Chicago’s old Water Tower.

◆Sliders cost 5 cents in 1921.

White Castle came to Chicago in 1929.

◆There are now 415 White Castles in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Only a handful on west of the Mississippi (in Minnesota and Missouri).

◆The burgers have five holes because it helps the patties cook faster and more evenly while eliminating the need to turn them over. The design was originally proposed on an anonymous employee suggestion sheet in 1947 by White Castle operator Earl Howell of Cincinnati.

◆The chain enjoyed a double-digit increase in sales after the film “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” came out in 2004.

◆If all the burgers sold by White Castle since 1921 were laid side by side, they would reach to the moon and back, with plenty left over.

◆Using three griddles, most White Castles have a production capacity of 2,000 burgers an hour. Source: White Castle

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