The business began in 1940, with a restaurant opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald at 1398 North E Street at West 14th Street in San Bernardino, California (at 34.1255°N 117.2946°W). Their introduction of the “Speedee Service System” in 1948 furthered the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant that the White Castle hamburger chain had already put into practice more than two decades earlier. The original mascot of McDonald’s was a man with a chef’s hat on top of a hamburger shaped head whose name was “Speedee”. Speedee was eventually replaced with Ronald McDonald by 1967 when the company first filed a U.S. trademark on a clown shaped man having puffed out costume legs.
Info gleaned from Wikipedia