A Brief History of the Roller Grill

A staple in convenience stores, concession stands, and ball parks across the country, the Roller Grill is almost "as American" as hot dogs themselves–and its roots go back almost as far.

Calvin Dodd MacCracken, an engineer and business owner, is credited as the inventor of the Roller Grill–just one of his 80 patents that ranged from astronauts' space suits to developing heating and cooling systems(1)(2). It was Theodore Edison, son of legendary inventor Thomas Edison, who worked with and encouraged a young MacCracken in the first half of the 20th century about the importance of pursuing his vocation(2)(3). MacCracken was then just an intern working with Edison, but perhaps thanks in part to Edison's inspiration MacCracken went on to become a leading innovator as well as start a company called CALMAC, a company that, to this day, offers low cost green energy cooling solutions.(4)