Fascinating Facts about the Invention of the Potato Chip:
In the summer of 1853 native american George Crum was employed as a chef at an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York.
One dinner guest found chef Crum’s french fries too thick for his liking and sent the order back to the kitchen. Crum decided to rile the guest by producing fries too thin and crisp to skewer with a fork. The plan backfired. The guest was ecstatic over the browned, paper-thin potatoes, and other diners began requesting Crum’s potato chips.
Potato chips have never been patented
Native american George Crum was born in Saratoga Lake, New York in 1822 and died there in 1914. Before passing on George Crum had opened his own restaurant in 1860 featuring potato chips in a basket placed on every table. His restaurant was in a building on Malta Avenue near Saratoga Lake. Within a few years he was catering to wealthy clients including William and Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould and Henry Hilton. Crum’s restaurant closed in 1890 and he died at the age of 92
The idea of making potato chips as a food item for sale in grocery stores came to many people at around the same time but perhaps the first was William Tapppendon of Cleveland, Ohio in 1895. He began making chips in his kitchen and delivering to neighborhood stores but later converted a barn in the rear of his house into one of the first potato chip factories in the country.
As a world food potatoes are second in human consumption only to rice. Of course today rice is under suspicion because of its possible dangerous carcinogen.
In the beginning potatoes were laboriously hand peeled and sliced. It was the invention of the mechanical potato peeler in the 1920’s that allowed potato chips to soar from a small specialty item to a top-selling snack food
In 1921 Bill and Sally Utz started the Hanover Home Brand Potato Chips in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Out in Monterey Park, California the Scudders started making potato chips in 1926. In 1932 Herman Lay founded Lay’s in Nashville, Tennessee and Lay’s became the first successfully marketed national brand.
The industry that George Crum launched in 1853 continues to grow and prosper and has become America’s favorite snack totalling over $6 billion sales per year employing more than 65,000 people.
Now we are selling chocolate covered potato chips in different variations, even with sprinkles. Enjoy!