Saratoga Chip Inventor Dies (1917)

Sam Clements sclements at NEO.RR.COM
Wed Apr 23 00:01:19 UTC 2003

According to
it's Wicks.  And the origin of the chip is rather in dispute.
----- Original Message -----
From: <Bapopik at AOL.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 12:47 AM
Subject: Saratoga Chip Inventor Dies (1917)

>    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
> 1959
> 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

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