793 Malta Avenue
Ballston Spa, New York
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George “Crum” Speck, chef, inventor of the potato chip ran his restaurant 1882-1890. Nationally-known and local patrons dined here.
By the Town of Malta — c. 2004
What was there
Crum’s Place – a restaurant run by George Crum, who is credited with the invention (or at the very least, the unknowing re-invention) of the potato chip in 1853, while head chef at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York. Crum ventured off on his own to open Crum’s Place on this site in 1860. (Though the marker states otherwise, records show 1860 to be the correct date.) It closed in 1890.
What is there now
A private residence built in 1970 stands in front of, and obscures the (assumed) landmark. Property is posted. Do NOT trespass. We were permitted to photograph the structure from the adjacent property. After comparing new photographs to the old – the roof line, doors and windows indicate that this structure is most assuredly what was once Crum’s Place. (See comparison photo in our gallery.)
- Read the “Snopes approved” lore of how Crum “invented” the potato chip here.
- Not everyone wants to credit Crum with the potato chip’s “invention” but no one disputes the chip’s novelty to this part of the world in 1853, nor the decades Crum spent serving the fried and savory treat to his adoring patrons.
- Because chips were not originally a snack food, but a side dish to accompany fancy meals – beginning in 1873, they were served with sterling silver “Saratoga Chip Servers” – complete with grease draining holes. (See gallery)
- George Crum’s name at birth was George Speck. Born in 1828 to a Native American mother and an African American father (Ballston Spa) and died in 1914, he is buried at the Malta Ridge Cemetery in Malta, NY.
- Concise explanation of the new potato chip and who George “Crum” Speck was.
- MIT article
- The Snack Food Association credits Crum as the chip’s inventor
- Hungry? Buy “reproduced” Saratoga Chips here.
- Holes in the story…..
- Another article and nice illustration
- Just for fun – on YouTube
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