Do You Know George Crum? | 29 Days of Little Known Facts About (Black) American History (XXIV)

archive photo of george crum

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George Crum | Chef & Inventor

Who: George (Speck) Crum Date of Birth: July 15, 1824- July 22, 1914 Place of Birth: Saratoga Springs, NY Education: Accomplishments:

  • Renowned chef
  • Inventor of the Potato Chip
  • Started Saratoga Chip Company

The son of an African-American father and a Native American mother, Crum was a renowned chef who worked at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York during the mid-1800s. According to culinary legend Crum was working as the chef in the summer of 1853 when he incidentally invented the chip. It all began when a patron who ordered a plate of French-fried potatoes sent them back to Crum’s kitchen because he felt they were too thick and soft.To teach the picky patron a lesson, Crum sliced a new batch of potatoes as thin as he possibly could, and then fried them until they were hard and crunchy. Finally, to top them off, he added a generous heaping of salt. To Crum’s surprise, the dish ended up being a hit with the patron and a new snack was born! Years later, Crum opened his own restaurant in Malta, NY  that had a basket of potato chips on every table. A white salesman and entrepreneur named Herman Lay began traveling throughout the south and introducing potato chips to different communities throughout the country essentially erasing Crum’s legacy from the history books

“George Crum a renowned chef, invented the potato chip”

Sources

  1. Thoughtco
  2. Fenomlife
  3. Black-Inventor
  4. https://lemelson.mit.edu/resources/george-crum
About 29 Days of Little Known Facts About (Black) American History

29 Days of Little Known Facts About (Black) American History is an annual blog campaign curated by 540WMain that has a mission to promote and share little known facts about Black Americans everyday throughout the month of February. Now in it 3rd year the campaign highlights the life and work of past and present day Black Americans that are overlooked or underrepresented in our conversations about American history. 540WMain will celebrate its 4 year anniversary with a party and extravaganza on Saturday June 20, 2020. In just four years the organization has become a pillar in the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood and a convener and curator of important and vital community conversations, classes, and programs. Your financial support helps us scale up this work in 2020 and beyond with a year long fundraising goal of $40,000

Published by Calvin Eaton

(he/his/him) Calvin Eaton is a disabled community educator, content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, equity, justice, instructional design, and program development. In 2016 Mr. Eaton founded 540WMain, Inc. a non-profit online and community-based organization for accessible education and events that promote justice for all.

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