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George Crum: The Potato Chip

Inventor of the Potato chip

George Crum, (born George Speck), invented the potato chip. Born in 1824, he grew up in New York. At the age of 25, started working at Moon’s Lake House, a high-end restaurant that served rich Manhattanites. This is where he would create his invention.

The nickname “Crum” came about from a regular customer at the Moon’s Lake House. The customer in question was named Commodore Cornelius Vanderbuilt, and frequently forgot Speck’s real last name. Instead, Vanderbuilt would ask for “Crum” when referring to Speck.

The legend of the potato chip started from rumours that a regular customer kept asking for thinner and thinner french fries. A disgruntled Crum cut a potato paper thin, fried it, and served it to the customer, creating the first potato chip.

Unfortunately, there is evidence to dispute this tall tale. Some say that there were already cookbook recipes for potato chips in the early 1800s. Others say that it was actually Crum’s sister, Kate Wicks, who created the recipe.

Regardless, people came to the Moon Lake House from far and wide to taste Crum’s potatoes. He eventually created his own restaurant in the 1860s, and served every table with a basket of chips.