For Louis Lassen, the summer of 1900 was proving to be an unremarkable one, until a harried customer approached his lunch wagon.
Lassen grew up in a small town in Denmark, where he was a blacksmith. After emigrating to New Haven, Connecticut in 1886, he began a relatively modest business as a food peddler. Every morning, he would wheel his wooden wagon onto the street and sell the rushing crowd butter and eggs. Eventually, Lassen realised that the crowd flurrying by every morning were a particular type of people; busy, dishevelled workers who were in need of a hearty, delicious meal, rather than a few select ingredients. Lassen swiftly adapted his business, remodelling it and introducing lunch items such as steak to his beloved wagon. He soon became a familiar face amongst the working men, who were all appreciative of Lassen’s creations.