The original McDonald's was opened up in San Bernardino, California in 1940 by the McDonald brothers (It's been torn down but there is a plaque marking the site.). The original menu items were:
- Hamburger (No cheeseburger, no Big Mac, nada, that's all they had.)
Enter Ray Kroc. In 1954 the McDonald brothers order a large batch of milk shake makers from him, intriuged by the large order, he visited the restaurant. Interestingly enough, the McDonald's of yesteryear was strikingly similar with In-N-Out Burger! They actually made their fries from (*Gasp*) fresh potatoes and had thicker shakes. The following year Kroc had made an agreement with the brothers for a franchise with a 1% gross income share, and the first francised McDonald's opened in Des Plaines, Illinois.
By 1960 Ray had opened 200 restaurants throughout the United States. The following he bought the McDonald brothers' share of the business for $3 million and in 1965 the company went public and became the McDonald's Corporation.1 And the rest is history.
- Taken from http://community-2.webtv.net/CadillacJackDJ/History/ (Paragraph 7)