28 days of Black Inventions: Potato Chip

28 days of Black Inventions

February 17th, 2017

Potato Chip

As we normally do this time of year, we’re going to celebrate Black History Month by acknowledging 28 of the most influential, world changing inventions by Black People. Our goal is to shed light on some inventions that most people probably didn’t know about, some of the lessor known inventions as well some of the more notable inventions. So, join us on our 28-day journey and you might learn a thing or two.

Potato Chip


Feeling hungry? want something to snack on? How about some Potato Chips? Did you know that the Potato Chip was Invented in 1853 as an off shoot of the French Fry? It was created by a Chef at the Moon Lake Lodge Resort in Saratoga Springs, NY. The Chef was received a complaint that his French Fries were too thick. He would make them thinner, the customer still complained. He finally sliced them extremely thin, fried them and served them. The customer loved it & eureka the Potato Chip was born.

George Crum


Will the real George Crum please stand up! These photos are purportedly photos of George Crum. I honestly don’t know which one is the correct. Working on it!

The person responsible for this creation was Mr. George Speck, who would later change his name to George Crum. There are some reports that cite his sister Kate Wicks was involved in the creation. George Crum, was considered a “Mulatto” a person of mixed race. Which happened to be that of African American & Native American. In 1860, off the Success of his Potato Chip, Mr. Crum opened his own Restaurant called “Crums” in Malta, New York. Originally called Saratoga Chips or Potato Crunches nevertheless they were said to have been the best. People paid top dollar just to eat at Mr. Crum’s Restaurant.

Meanwhile, the Owners at the Moon Lake Lodge also continued to make, sale and even claim ownership of this Invention. There have been many stories written over the years making claims that someone other than George Crum was the actual creator of the Potato Chip. Being an African American/Native American during those days it’s very easy for someone to discredit and claim ownership over something as this happened all the time during that era. George Crum popularized the Potato Chip and made it a household name, And the rest is history. Although this Invention was not Patented or or Trademarked by popular consensus Mr. Crum was the Inventor.

Editor’s Note: 

Every Article we write about Black/African American Inventors comes with a bit of scandal and controversy. Remember how Blacks were treating during those days. In one point in time it was Illegal for African Americans to Patent the Inventions they made. George Crum, your story & Invention has survived the test of time, now let’s eat…some Potato Chips.




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