George Crum: Not The Potato Chip Inventor, But Would We have Them Without Him?

George Speck, later known as George Crum and long thought to be the inventor of the potato chip, was born on July 15th, 1824 in Saratoga Country, New York to parents Abraham Speck, an African American, and Diana Tull, a Native American of the Huron Tribe. He had a sister, Catherine “Kate” Speck. Both George and Kate Speck identified as members of the St. Regis band of the Huron. George Speck spent his youth as a guide in New York’s Adirondack Mountains from 1834 to 1850. He was an animal trapper specializing in capturing wild ducks and deer. 

In 1853, 29-year-old Speck was hired by Moon’s Lake House, an Adirondack resort on Saratoga Lake near Saratoga Springs that catered to wealthy vacationers from New York City. One regular patron, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, regularly forgot Speck’s last name and called him “Crum.” Vanderbilt relayed personal food requests to “Crum” through the waiters and Speck eventually embraced the name, saying that”a crum is larger than a speck.” 

The popular narrative is that George Crum invented the potato chip, a myth eventually debunked by his sister Kate Speck who claimed she invented what would soon be known as the famous Saratoga chips. She said she sliced off a sliver of potato and it fell into a hot frying pan by accident. George Crum tasted the sliced potato and gave his enthusiastic approval of the chip. Even her claim is undermined by the existence of cookbooks in the United States and Great Britain that described earlier versions of the chips that were called fried potato shavings. 

There is no doubt, however, that Crum’s promotion of the chip help popularize it.  Wealthy visitors to Moon’s restaurant soon spread the word about the Saratoga chips, often traveling from Boston and New York specifically for the delicacy. After an unsuccessful attempt to take credit for inventing the Saratoga chip, Cary Moon, the owner of Moon’s Lake House, began selling them in boxes, the first attempt to merchandise the product beyond his restaurant. 

George Crum opened his own restaurant, Crum’s Place, in 1860 in Malta, New York where he provided every table with a basket of chips. Crum’s chip would remain a delicacy for the elite until the 1920s when entrepreneur Herman Lay brought the chips to the South to introduce them to a wider audience. Lay’s mass production and worldwide distribution of potato chips soon overshadowed Crum’s legacy. Nonetheless, Crum’s Place continued for 30 years until 1890 when he retired from the restaurant business. 

Crum married Elizabeth Jarrett in 1853 and the couple had three sons, John, Gilbert, and William, and a daughter, Anne. They divorced in 1857.  He met his second wife, Hester Esther Bennett, who was a regular customer at Crum’s Place. They married in 1860 and remained a couple until her death in 1906. George (Speck) Crum died in Malta, New York on July 22, 1914 at the age of 90. 

Ready to clean-up your in-door air quality? Call or schedule today!

We are a licensed and insured air duct cleaning business with 11+ years of experience in the field. When you want to work with duct cleaning professionals who offer a strong work ethic, reliable service, and outstanding results, we’re the name to know in Atlanta and beyond. Get in touch with us today to set up an appointment!

Air Duct Cleaning

Air Duct Cleaning when you live in Atlanta is an important step to improving your home’s indoor air quality. Daffy Ducts of Atlanta focuses on quality first with each and every job that we do. Our goal is to make sure all those who live in Atlanta and need Air Duct Cleaning know that Daffy Ducts of Atlanta is the first company they should call. We are truly a name you can trust in the air duct cleaning industry. Daffy Ducts wants to let you know that cleaning your air ducts provides benefits such as increased efficiency for your HVAC system. Air Duct Cleaning will of course improve the quality of the air inside your home as well. Excess amounts of dust can be reduced greatly by hiring a top rated Air Duct Cleaning company like Daffy Ducts. If you want it done correctly the first time, call Daffy Ducts for all of your Air Duct Cleaning.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Dryer Vent Cleaning is also a very important service for those in Atlanta and surrounding areas. Daffy Ducts provides top rated Dryer Vent Cleaning Service in Atlanta. Dryer Vent Cleaning service reduces the risk of fire caused by excessive lint build up in the dryer vent. Dryer Vent Cleaning also increases the efficiency of your dryer and improves the performance of your clothes dryer in turn saving you money. When you get your Dryer Vent Cleaning done annually in Atlanta it will also increase the life of your appliance. We have had our service recommended by dryer repairmen who visited homes thinking there was a problem with the dryer, only to find out the dryer wasn’t working properly due to a clogged dryer vent. Call Daffy Ducts in Atlanta today to begin making your home safer.

Daffy Ducts Service Area

Daffy Ducts services all of Atlanta and large number of surrounding cities in the greater Atlanta area. Here are some of the cities that we offer our Air Duct Cleaning and dryer vent cleaning services: Roswell, Gwinnett, Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, Snellville, Alpharetta, Lawrenceville, Stone Mountain, Lilburn, Loganville, Conyers, Doraville, Norcross, Duluth, Buckhead, Midtown, Marietta, Dunwoody, Buford, Sugar Hill, Chamblee, Tucker and the rest of the Atlanta Metro.