Photo of Moon Lake Lodge courtesy upload.wikimedia.org.
On August 24, 1853, a customer at the Moon Lake Lodge in Saratoga Springs, New York, sent his plate of fried potatoes back to the kitchen, saying they were too thick, soggy and plain. The chef, named George Crum, sent out a second batch, but they too were returned. Finally, to prove a point, the chef sliced the potatoes extra thin that they couldn't be skewered with a fork. He fried them extra crisp and dowsed them in salt, thinking the customer would surely complain. However, the customer, possibly Cornelius Vanderbilt, loved them and soon word spread about the new item at Moon Lake Lodge.
George Crum went on to open his own restaurant in 1860 where he placed a basket of Saratoga Chips on every table. The restaurant served customers for 30 years before George retired.
William Tappendon is credited with being the first person to bring potato chips to the grocery store shelves. He converted his barn in to a potato chip factory in 1895. The chips were packaged in tins or large barrels.
In the 1920's, Mrs. Scudder started mass producing potato chips. This is when they first appeared in wax bags that were either stapled or ironed at either end.
An Irish crisps company owner named Joe "Spud" Murphy produced the first flavoured potato chips in the 1950's. Varieties included cheese and onion and salt and vinegar.
Today potato chips account for over 6 billion dollars in sales in the United States.
Photo courtesy static.giantbomb.com.