Beachwood Library Explores The Life Of George Crum

January 18, 2017

BEACHWOOD – Every time a person crunches into a potato chip, he or she is enjoying the delicious taste of one of the world’s most famous snacks – a treat that might not exist without the contribution of black inventor George Crum.

Crum’s life and accomplishments will be celebrated during a Black History Month program at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Beachwood Branch of the Ocean County Library, 126 Beachwood Blvd.

Several varieties of potato chips will be sampled during the program which is aimed at children from 5 to 10 years old.

Crum was the son of an African-American father and a Native American mother. He worked as the chef during the summer of 1853 when he accidentally 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 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.

Crum never attempted to patent his invention but the snack was mass-produced, sold in bags and provided thousands of jobs nationwide.

The program is free but registration is required. To register call 732-244-4573 or visit

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