A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 29, 2011
“Get ‘em while they’re hot”

"Get ‘em while they’re hot!” is the cry of someone selling hot food, such as hot dogs or hot peanuts or hot popcorn. The cry “Get ‘em while they’re hot!” has been cited in print since at least 1897 and 1900.

There is no such popular cry for cold food items. Sellers of cold drinks and ice cream seldom yell, “Get ‘em while they’re cold!”

‘Get ‘em while they’re hot!” also refers to any low-priced or high-value “hot” items for sale. An 1897 citation (below) referred to “elegant custom-made suits and overcoats.”


Chronicling America
21 September 1897, The Times (Washington, DC), pg. 7, col. 6:
COME on. get ‘em while they’re hot.
We have a splendid lot of elegant custom-made suits and overcoats (worn a trifle) for a price that will surprise even you. Don’t wait any longer. JUSTH’S OLD STAND, 619 D st. nw.

Google Books
Wine on the Lees
By John A. Steuart
New York, NY: Dodd, Mead & Co.
1899
Pg. 88:
“It’s the sausages, Dick,” answered Jenny. “Come, dear, while they’re hot.”

Chronicling America
15 May 1900, The Times (Richmond, VA), “The Great Richmond Carnival Inaugurated Amid Pomp and Splendor and Inspiring Scenes,” pg. 1, col. 4:
The hot sausage man is ready with his old familiar cry of “Get them while they’re hot, a loaf of bread and a pound of meat, only 5 cents!”

Google Books
Wags of the Stage
By Joseph Whitton
Philadelphia, PA: G.H. Rigby
1902
Pg. 215:
As I had my doubts about his appetite being very ravenous for his breakfast, I thought I would sharpen it a little:

“William, we are having buckwheat cakes for breakfast; get up and eat them while they’re hot.”

16 May 1903, New Orleans (LA) Item, “Great Throng Attends Fete,” pg. 1, col. 6:
Owners of “privileges” were getting their ice tubs and their glasses ready to serve the “largest and coolest” at rapid rates, and shouts of “get ‘em while they’re hot! Coffee and red-hots, chicken tamalas here!” resounded through the place.

LA84 Foundation Sports Library
6October 1906, Sporting Life, pg. 14, col. 4:
“GET ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE HOT!”
1906 Portfolio of Base Ball Players Reduced to 35 Cents

9 October 1913, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, pg. 2, col. 1:
Over the sharp impact of the barker’s whip against earmined canvass, more insistent than the pistol shots that called attention to the wonders of a trip to the moon, louder even than the blatant mellowdy of the merry-go-rounds, rose the cry of the seller of frankfurters: “Get them while they’re hot, gents. get them while they’re hot.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Get ‘em while they’re hot
Author: Outdoor caterer.
Publisher: [S.l. : M.B. Brown Print. and Binding Co., 1922]
Edition/Format:  Book : Biography : English

Google Books
Sixty Seconds
By Maxwell Bodenheim
New York, NY: Horace Liveright
1929
Pg. 111:
“Get them while they’re hot. Fr-re-esh r-ro-oasted pe-eanu-uts, boys, five a bag,” and sweat was making his shirt stick to chest and back, and he had not yet acquired the art of always catching the coins tossed to him by men sitting in the middle, or end, of a seat-row, but these irkings were little more than gnat-stings swallowed up by the dramatic buzzings and roarings around him, and the thrill of turning to watch a fast ...

Google Books
Careers in Advertising, and the Jobs Behind Them
By Alden James
New York, NY: Macmillan
1932
Pg. 531:
The familiar cry of the wienie vendor, “Get ‘em while they’re hot, boys,” should be the gospel of the producer who builds his program around names.

OCLC WorldCat record
GET ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE HOT - With unemployment hovering at 9.6%, corporations cutting back and government shutting down, you wouldn’t think anyone would be handing out great jobs. But they are—you just have to know how to get in line.
Author: Katrina Onstad; Tamsen Tillson
Publisher: Toronto : CB Media, 1977-
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: Canadian business. 69, no. 4, (1996): 37
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
Get’em While They’re Hot - While technology moves at breakneck speed, savvy marketers are using cutting-edge tools to introduce products, conduct market research, improve customer service--and gain an edge on the competition.
Author: Brian Silvermann
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Sales and Marketing Management, c1975-
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication: Sales & marketing management. 149, no. 2, (1997): 47
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
Get ‘em while they’re hot! : how to attract, develop, and retain peak performers in the coming labor shortage
Author: Anthony Zeiss
Publisher: Nashville : Nelson Business, ©2005.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Thursday, September 29, 2011 • Permalink