Bag ‘em Up and Fry Continuously
The Potato Chip would have undoubtedly remained a side dish in restaurants had it not been for the invention of the bag.
Yes, the bag.
Not any old bag though.
Potato Chips and Crisps were stored in barrels or glass display cabinets and turned stale relatively quickly.
In 1920 Francis Leigh Smith became the first company to manufacture Crisps for the mass market in the United Kingdom. His Smith’s Potato Crisps Company began packaging his wares in grease-proof bags. For flavouring purposes, he also included a twist of salt.
In 1926, Laura Scudder invented a moisture resistant, sealed bag. Her Californian Potato Chips were packed in airtight packs which were sealed by two pieces of waxed paper, which were ironed together by her staff.
The Glassine bag came along in 1933, and enabled identifiable branding and packaging to take the product on to its next level.
Up until 1929 small batches of Potato Chips and Crisps were produced in Kettles. And then, the Continuous Fryer was invented.
This revolutionised the production of Potato Chips.
Ironically the thinner, more Crisp like snack pushed many, thicker and arguably superior Kettle Fried Chips companies, out of business (A rather large example of the Kettle design is featured above - it can be found in Pennsylvania).
Kettle Chips and Potato Crisps, anyone? It certainly would have been a good time for the companies to go on a marketing offensive by renaming and splitting the products.
Anyway, Potato Chips and Crisps were now fully equipped for their development into the world’s greatest snack food.
So what about adding some flavour?