Another development facilitating the invention and popularization of the proto-hamburger was the increased production of beef through livestock intensification. By the late 19th century, an increasing amount of land was being devoted to cattle and a growing number of people being employed as cowboys , resulting in the United States becoming one of the world's largest producers and consumers of beef.  The 1880s were declared The Golden Age of Beef , during which the abundance of rural beef production made vital its transportation by rail from agricultural to urban areas. This gave rise to various methods of meat preservation for making possible the consumption of fresh meat in urban and industrialized areas, among the refrigerator cars and different methods of packaging meat (such as corned beef ), which were promoted by industrialists like Gustavus Swift (1839–1903). Around this time, the city of Chicago, along with other cities on the East Coast , became a focal point for the large-scale processing of beef. Beef was already inexpensive at that time, and it was available to the working class. This put the Hamburg steak within reach of the vast majority of the population, giving rise to what some authors jokingly call the "American beef dream".  In this era, the number of steakhouses that specialized in serving steaks increased markedly; some restaurants even served steak along with seafood, in a dish known as Surf and turf .