Thursday, January 16, 2014

Before They Disappear - Burger Family

Papa Burger statue
Thermopolis, WY
November 2013
The A and W in Thermopolis has been closed for a long time, so I thought I'd better get photos of the "family" while I could. The statues once stood on the roof of the restaurant and bowling alley, and Baby Burger has been missing for several years. The iconic statues now have their feet on the ground, but I'm sure they will be removed when the property is sold.

While most fast food places have a variety of specials, I'd be willing to bet that A and W was the first chain to introduce different sizes of burgers and or meals.

The A and W Burger Family first appeared in 1963 when A and W introduced four choices of hamburgers and their corresponding Burger Family members: Papa Burger, Mama Burger, Baby Burger, and Teen Burger.

These statues were produced for A and W by International Fiberglass. Papa Burger is 8 1/2 feet tall and his mug is 3 feet tall.

In 1974, A and W introduced the Great Root Bear as their new mascot and instructed their restaurant operators to use him in their advertising. The stores were also encouraged to get rid of their Burger Family statues at that point but many of them did not. source

 
Teen Burger statue, sans burger
Thermopolis, WY
November 2013
The Papa Burger consisted of two 1/8-pound beef patties, with two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and A&W's proprietary sauce (similar to thousand island dressing), on a sesame seed bun. The Mama Burger was the same, only with a single 1/8-pound patty and a plain bun, while the Teen Burger had a single 1/4-pound patty and included slices of bacon (also served on a sesame seed bun). The Baby Burger was made with one 1/8-pound beef patty, ketchup, mustard, and pickles, served on a plain bun. source

Mama Burger statue
Thermopolis, WY
November 2013

A photo of the whole Burger Family on display in Oregon can be seen here.

Do you remember the Burger Family?  Are they still on display in your community?



14 comments:

  1. I have never seen these before. We had Kip's Home of the Big Boy Burger and there was a statue very similar. They are long gone now.

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  2. I have actually eaten at the very A and W!

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  3. Those statues are wonderful! We didn't have A&W restaurants in our part of the country, I guess. I've never eaten at one and had to check to see if there are even any here now. There are just a handful, most of which are combo storefronts with Long John Silver's or KFC.

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  4. These statues are sure cute...but I really don't have a clear memory of seeing them, especially the whole family. Fun post, Nancy!

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  5. Sadly, the A and W closed in my home town. I remember very well getting a baby rootbeer with a frosty mug...it was the ultimate treat in those days of no air conditioning!!

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  6. I wonder who took the Baby Burger Statue. I am not sure our A and W had them....maybe and I just don't remember:)

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  7. We have the huge hot dogs atop Superdawg in Chicago and now another near our hometown. We used to have a burger guy BIg Boy but he's long gone…
    Nancy..now I want a hamburger...

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  8. There are still a few A&Ws along the 101 up north, but I've never seen the Burger Family statues before. I may have just been introduced, but I think Papa Burger is my favorite. How cute. Great post Nancy!

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  9. where I grew up in Minnesota I remember the burgers and the frosty mugs of root beer really well. But I don't remember seeing these statues. My parents loved to go to the drive in movie in a neighboring town on Sunday nights, and we always ate at the A & W on the way. I still love A & W root beer!

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  10. "Burger Family" is new to me. We had Bob's Big Boy with a Big Boy statue and Steer Inn with a giant steer head on the roof. Now that thing was creepy!!!!! LOL Your Burger Family looks much nicer.

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  11. I love the statues. We have an A&W that we just love to go to only it's about 45 minutes away, makes for a nice drive.

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  12. Love those pictures!!.. I have the little baby mugs.... grandpa one to baby one... My dad loved the A & W..... he made his own Root Beer too....(that exploded once in the basement:)....As a teenager I remember the service to the car windows...A & W has such memories!!! Thanks for bringing them back!!

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  13. Those statues are so cool. It's sad that those small business are gone.

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  14. Nope... never heard of them. We didn't get an A&W until the turn of the 21st century, and it didn't stay long.

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