World’s 1st Corn Dog on Stick Came From Famous Illinois Drive-In
Whatever you do, DON'T call it a corn dog.
The Cozy Dog Drive-In located in Springfield, Illinois claims that they are the ones that invented the corn dog on a stick. However they call their famous dogs a cozy dog, and if you order a corn dog at the drive-in (which is still open) you will get a funny stare down.
It all started in 1941 when Ed Waldmire Jr. went to Oklahoma to try a sandwich called a "corndog" which he thought was ok but didn't like the way it was cooked. According to enjoyillinois.com,
Unlike the fried corndogs which would rise to prominence at the Cozy Dog Drive In, this sandwich featured a wiener baked into a cornbread and lacked the modern-day corndog’s signature stick. Ed thought the corn-dog was good, but took too long to prepare in a traditional baking oven. The problem, he recognized, was being able to cover the hotdog in batter and cook it in a short time.
After that, he meet with Don Strand, whose father owned a local bakery, and while serving in the Air Force, Don came up with a different way to batter and eat the hot dog.
Using cocktail forks as sticks and the USO kitchen as his laboratory, Ed got right to work on his new craft. He called his original creation the “crusty cur,” and it became a popular snack at the local USO and airfield. Ed and Don sold thousands of their crusty curs before Ed was honorably discharged in the spring of 1946.
So it's all about the batter and the way you eat the cozy dog, that's why its considered the first. Several signs around the drive-in make it very clear that the Cozy Dog preceded the modern corn dog, and Cozy Dogs are superior in quality and taste to modern corn dogs. On June 16, 1946, The Cozy Dog Drive-In opened, and although it has been moved several times, is owned by a third generation of the family keeping the business going. You can find the drive-in on Route 66 in Springfield.