The name slider is thought to date back to the 1940s when it first become popular along the sea (per kitchn). Sailors in the United States Navy used the nickname for small burgers loaded with grease, namely, because they “slide” down the gut so easily in a few quick bites. Another theory suggests that sliders got their name because they “slide” across the grill.
When you think of little burgers that go down quickly, you might imagine pulling into White Castle. The fast food chain is often credited for popularizing the term slider, thanks to its numerous slider varieties. Last year, the chain debuted “The 1921 Slider” to commemorate the restaurant’s first small hamburger, as well as 101 years of slider recipes (via PR Newswire). According to Lynn Blashford, chief marketing officer at White Castle, “The 1921 Slider brings our menu full circle to the hamburger that started it all.”
Billy Ingram, who founded White Castle, perfected his hamburger recipe by flattening a “beef meatball” into a “circular patty.” White Castle began using the slogan “Selling em’ by the Sack” to advertise its sliders in 1927 and marked selling 1 billion sliders in 1961.