Saratoga Chip Inventor Dies (1917)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Apr 22 04:47:13 UTC 2003

   SARATOGA CHIP INVENTOR DIES; Colored Woman Reputed to Have Been 103 Years Old.; The Washington Post (1877-1954), Washington, D.C.; May 19, 1917; pg. 8, 1 pgs:

_Colored Woman Reputed to Have Been 103 Years Old._
   Sratoga Springs, N. Y., May 18.--Catherine A. Wieks, colored, the oldest woman in Saratoga County, died today.  She would have been 103 years old next December.  She was the inventor of Saratoga potato chips and was a sister of the late George Crum, who was famous 50 years ago as a roadhouse proprietor at Saratoga Lake.

   Once again, having an additional online source comes through.  The NEW YORK TIMES didn't mention her.
   Mary O'Donnell, of Saratoga, has kindly photocopied some information on "Saratoga chips."
   Three people are given credit.  One is "Aunt Katie" Weeks, or is it Wieks?  Another is Cary B. Moon, the proprietor of Moon's Lakehouse, a famous nineteenth century restaurant at Saratoga Lake.  Another is George Crum, the chef.  This book has a nice discussion:

by Evelyn Barret Britten
Saratoga: published privately by author

Pg. 176:  Crum was a native of Malta, the son of Abraham Speck, a jockey, who had come from Kentucky in the early days of Saratoga Springs and married an Indian girl.  The inventor of potato chips was christened Crum by none other than the original Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, founder of the Vanderbilt fortunes in America, who, visiting Moon's with a party of guests, had had to wait a long time to be served, and finally had requested an attendant to ask "Crum," "How long before we shall eat?"
   It was the commodore's confusion of ideas--"Crumb" and "speck"--that gave the famed Indian guide the name he carried through the rest of his life.

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