Father of the Grill
February 11, 1993 - George A. Stephen died on this day. He left behind one of the greatest gifts in American history, the Weber grill.
As a welder for Weber Brothers Metal Works, George spent all day building metal buoys for the Coast Guard. One day in 1952 he had an epiphany. Using the bottom half of a buoy as a cooking bowl and the top half as a lid, he built an innovative new barbecue.
The grill became a local sensation, then George took it on the road. He would demonstrate his dome-shaped contraption at hardware stores all across the country. Soon enough, the gospel of the Weber grill was spreading. Slowly but surely the strange looking barbecue began to win over backyard chefs.
By the 1970s, one million Weber grills were being built and sold each year. George would run the business for over 30 years. When he died, one of his sons took over. It remains a decidedly private company.