The History of the Hamburger —M.M. Leonard Few things are more American than hamburgers. However, the history of the hamburger is much longer than the history of America. In the 13th century, the Mongols spread throughout Asia. During this time, Mongol fighters would put chopped-up meat under their saddles so that the meat became softer and easier to eat. The Mongols brought the dish to Russia. There, it became a favorite dish that's known today as steak tartare. This is raw ground beef with a raw egg. By the 17th century, Russians had brought steak tartare to the port of Hamburg, Germany. The locals there had the idea to cook it. This dish became known as Hamburg steak. By the mid-1800s, travelers from Hamburg had arrived on American shores with their popular local dish. In 1891, an American by the name of Oscar Weber Bilby held a Fourth of July party at his cow farm. He grilled patties of ground beef and put them on buns. Thus, the modern hamburger was born.