The Potato Chip

Potato Chip

Who invented the Potato Chip? The name of the person credited with inventing the Potato Chip, also known as Saratoga Chips or potato crisps, is George Crum (1824 - 1914). George Crum is not only famous as the African-American inventor of the Potato Chip but also as a chef and businessman. When was the Potato Chip invented? George Crum invented the Potato Chip in 1853, during the Second US Industrial Revolution period of invention (1850 - 1914). Potato Chips are known as 'Crisps' in the UK.

Definition of the Potato Chip: The Potato Chip is defined as a thin, crisp slice of potato fried in deep fat, that is crispy or crunchy, are salted, and can be manufactured using various flavorings, such as alt and vinegar or cheese and onion, and eaten as a savoury snack.


Who invented the Potato Chip


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Fact File about the Invention of the Potato Chip: Invention: Potato Chip *** Date of Invention: 1853 *** Name of Inventor: George Crum *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1824 - 1914 *** Nationality of Inventor: African-American *** Historical Period: Second US Industrial Revolution (1850 - 1914) *** Category: Food and Drink *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, George Crum,and the invention of the Potato Chip ***

Fact 1: Who invented the Potato Chip? The Potato Chip was invented by George Crum in 1853 during the Second US Industrial Revolution era of inventions (1850 - 1914).

Fact 2: Who invented the Potato Chip? The inventor of the Potato Chip, George Crum, was born George Speck on July 15, 1824 in Saratoga County, New York, United States and died on July 22, 1914.

Fact 3: Who invented the Potato Chip? George Crum was the son of an African American named Abraham Speck, his mother was a Mowhawk Native American Indian called Catherine Speck.

Fact 4: Who invented the Potato Chip? Little is known about his early life but it was believed that his parents lived on the St. Regis (Akwesasne) Mohawk reservation in Franklin County, New York.

Fact 5: Who invented the Potato Chip? The reservation was on the border with Canada, along the St. Lawrence River and a designation of runaway slaves seeking freedom in Canada.

Fact 5: Who invented the Potato Chip? George Crum received a basic schooling at a Jesuit mission and was an industrious and inquisitive child.

Fact 6: Who invented the Potato Chip? Following his education took jobs working as a hunter and then as a guide in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. As a hunter and a guide in the Adirondack Mountains he would have hunted animals such as the white tailed deer, rabbits, fox, raccoon and small game such as grouse, pheasants, woodcock, snipe and gallinule. 

Fact 7: Who invented the Potato Chip? George Crum moved one hundred miles from the Adirondack Mountain area to the affluent and elegant Saratoga Lake region and began working in various small restaurants, paying attention to the activities and skills of the local cooks and chefs.

Fact 8: Who invented the Potato Chip? George Crum specialize in preparing game birds which were a highlight of the menu for many wealthy customers. His cooking ability gained George Crum a good reputation and he was employed at a fashionable Resort Hotel called the Sans Souci in Ballston Spa and the Montgomery Hall Hotel in Saratoga County.   

Fact 9: Who invented the Potato Chip? In 1853 he was also employed by Cary and Harriet Moon working at the Moon's Lake House on Saratoga Lake, where legend tells that George Crum invented the crispy potato chip..

Fact 10: Who invented the Potato Chip? Fashionable hotels of the era popularized "frying potatoes in the French manner" which was made fashionable by President Thomas Jefferson who requested this dish for a dinner at the White House. They became known as French Fries.

Fact 11: Who invented the Potato Chip? A particularly stubborn customer, who turned out to be the super-rich business magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794 - 1877), demanded that his French Fries needed to be thinner and returned his meal to the kitchen. In an attempt to placate the important customer George Crum prepared a selection of thinly cut French Fries. The thinnest cut of all produced delicious, crispy potatoes that met with Vanderbilt's approval - the 'Potato Chip' had been invented.   

Fact 12: Who invented the Potato Chip? George Crum realized that the ultra thin  'Potato Chip' was just as tasty eaten cold and the next day served them as a complimentary snack, in paper cones, to the hotel's customers next to a sign saying "Help Yourself".

Fact 13: Who invented the Potato Chip? News of the new snack spread across the country and in 1860 George Crum opened his own restaurant on Malta Avenue near Saratoga Lake, catering to wealthy clients including members of the Vanderbilt family, Jay Gould, and Henry Hilton. The new snack became known as 'Saratoga Chips'.

Fact 14: Who invented the Potato Chip? In 1895 William Tappendon of Cleveland, Ohio began making chips and delivering them to neighborhood stores and the idea of selling the chips in grocery stores was born.

Fact 15: Who invented the Potato Chip? George Crum died on July 22, 1914 a wealthy and successful businessman whose name will always be remembered as the inventor of the crispy potato chip.

Fact 16: Who invented the Potato Chip? The popularity of the chips increased in 1925 when Herman Lay invented the mechanical potato peeler which lead to mass-marketed chips which led to their emergence as a  top-selling snack food.

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