Chips, like so many other culinary items, were discovered purely by accident and the cause was a disgruntled customer in a restaurant. In 1853, American chef George Crum accidentally baked the very first chips at Moon’s Lake House Hotel in Saratoga Springs (in New York State). A difficult customer kept sending the fried potatoes back to the kitchen because they were too thick. At long last, Crum, who apparently had quite a temper, decided to slice the potatoes so thin that you couldn’t eat them with a fork. To Crum’s surprise, the customer was super excited about his fried potato chips. Crum put the potato chips on the menu. They caught on with the regulars and were soon called ‘Saratoga Chips’ and became very popular. From there it’s only a small step to packaging them in bags, but that didn’t happen until the early 20th century, as they were first sold in cans.
One of the most famous chip producers was Herman Lay, who founded his own company – Lay’s – in Nashville and made chips famous throughout the United States. In Europe, it was a certain Frank Smith who was responsible for that. He emigrated from the US to England and started his own potato chips factory. However, we had to wait until the 1950s for a Dutch potato grower named Gerrit Kistenmaker to learn from Frank Smith how to make potato chips. Together they founded Smiths. In 2001, the name changes to Lay’s.
Source: Nullam Microwave Food & Drinks