Potato chips: an accidental fad

Frito Lay, Pringles and Wise have all made billions of dollars from the invention of potato chips. But, who created these popular snacks?

A chef of African and Native American descent from Lake Saratoga, N.Y. stumbled upon this invention by accident in 1853. After hearing complaints from a customer at Cary Moon’s Lake House who thought the french fries were too thick, George Crum decided to slice the french fries until they were thin enough to appease the customer. The potatoes became extra thin and crispy. The guests did not seem to mind, and Crum began preparing the french fries thinly sliced. Crum’s chips would soon be called Saratoga chips and were eventually sold and packaged in New England. Later, Crum opened his own restaurant, at which he sold the potato chips.

In 1895, William Tappendon, who turned his barn into a potato chip factory, marketed the chips and manufactured them to local grocers in Cleveland. Herman Lay began to sell potato chips out of the trunk of his car. Owner of a potato chip manufacturing company, Laura Scudder, invented the wax paper bag that potato chips were stored in to preserve the crunch. In 1920, the mechanical potato peeler was invented creating a fad for America’s favorite snack.

Sources: www.blackinventor.com, www.enchantedlearning.com.

-Unknown black history facts aim to educate the student body beyond the current visible knowledge of Black History. If you have an interesting black history fact, and would like to contribute to this section, please contact the Lifestyles section at 599-3011 or e-mail us at famuanlifestyles@hotmail.com.

contact Crystal Mitchell at cm_mitchell21@yahoo.com.