• Dr. Mohan Dewan assisted by Adv. Shubham Borkar

Accidental Inventions as the name suggests refer to the discovery or creation of something new or useful that was not intentionally sought after. Accidental inventions have played a significant role in shaping our world, from the discovery of penicillin to the creation of the microwave oven. In some cases, accidental inventions have even led to entire industries and new fields of research. These inventions often arise from unexpected or accidental circumstances, such as a laboratory mishap or a chance encounter. While not all accidental inventions may be successful or have significant impact, they serve as a reminder that innovation can come from unexpected sources and that sometimes the most ground-breaking discoveries can be the result of chance. In this Accidental Inventions series of articles we will be telling you about some of the lesser known accidental inventions.

Potato Chips - The good side of Temper!

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Potato chips are a beloved snack food enjoyed by millions of people around the world. But did you know that this crispy treat was actually invented by accident? In this article, we'll delve into the fascinating history of potato chips and discover how this accidental invention came to be.

The story of potato chips begins in the mid-19th century in Saratoga Springs, New York. At the time, a man named George Crum was working as a chef at a fancy resort called the Moon's Lake House. One day, a customer who was none other than shipping and railroad baron Cornelius Vanderbilt ordered a plate of french fries, but complained that they were too thick and soggy, he requested for more thinly sliced ones. Crum, who was known for his short temper, decided to teach Cornelius a lesson by slicing the potatoes as thin as possible and frying them until they were crispy and golden brown. To his surprise, the customer loved the new creation, and potato chips were born.

At first, potato chips were only available at the Moon's Lake House, but their popularity quickly spread. Crum began selling them in small bags, and they soon became a hit with locals and tourists alike. In 1860, Crum opened his own restaurant, called Crum's, where he served his famous potato chips alongside other dishes.

Despite their popularity, potato chips were still considered a luxury item, and they remained a regional delicacy for many years. It wasn't until the 20th century that potato chips became widely available across the United States. In 1926, a man named Laura Scudder began selling potato chips in waxed paper bags, which helped to keep them fresh and crunchy. This innovation made it possible to distribute potato chips on a large scale, and they quickly became a staple snack food in households across the country.

Today, potato chips are a multi-billion dollar industry, with countless brands and flavors to choose from. They are enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds, and have become a ubiquitous part of American culture. Yet it all started with a simple mistake by an irritable chef in upstate New York.

Hence it can be said that the history of potato chips is a testament to the power of human ingenuity and the unexpected ways that innovation can arise. From a single act of frustration, a beloved snack food was born, and it has since become a cultural icon. So the next time you reach for a bag of potato chips, take a moment to appreciate the fascinating history behind this accidental invention.


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