Inscribed on the statue of Liberty is a quote that appeals to immigrants and citizens alike: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation outlines the reality that the American way of life is now largely influenced by the power of money and success. Carl N. Karcher is one of the fast food industry’s pioneers. He is a great example of a man starting with little and going on to achieve the American dream. His father always told him “The harder you work, the luckier you become.” Carl dropped out of 8th grade to work 12 to 14 hours a day on the family farm, harvesting with a team of horses, bailing hay, and milking and feeding cows. In 1937, when Carl was 20 years old, he decided to leave upper Ohio where he was born, to work with his uncle in California at the family feed and seed store. He worked 67 hour weeks in the feed store until he had enough money to start a family of his own. In 1939 he married Margaret Heinz in west L.A. Carl decided to take a leap of faith and took out a loan for $311, using his car for collateral to buy a hotdog cart. Within the next 5 years Carl owned 4 hotdog carts. In 1945 he bought a recently closed restaurant, fixed it up, and opened the first Carl’s Drive-In Barbeque restaurant. Carl thought his future was secure with his drive-in restaurant; but he was worried when he heard about McDonald’s Famous Hamburgers that sold for 15 cents each, which was 20 cents less than what Carl charged.
Richard and Maurice McDonald left New Hampshire for southern California at the start of the depression, hoping to find jobs in Hollywood. They worked as set builders, saved their money, and bought a movie theatre in Glendale. The theatre wasn’t a success so they opened a drive-in restaurant in Pasadena, trying to cash in on the drive-in craze. They hired 3 carhops and mainly sold hotdogs. A few years later they moved to a larger building that was located near a high...
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