I've always loved Better Made Potato Chips.

Credit: Meijer.com
Credit: Meijer.com
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As a kid, I would snack on Barbecue chips whenever my dad would grill out.

Thinkstock/ BlueMoonStudioInc
Thinkstock/ BlueMoonStudioInc
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I knew that Michigan had some popular potato chip companies, but I didn't realize the amazing history and impact of the Potato in Michigan and across America.

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Potato Chip Pioneers

Michigan's love of potatoes goes back to the 19th century when farmers recognized the state's soil was perfect for growing potatoes.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva
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A group of pioneers turned a potato chip dream into a reality.

The Triumphant Trio

Three names stand out in Michigan's journey to chip stardom: Fred "Spud" Murphy, Alice "Crunch Queen" Thompson, and Samuel "Chipper" Johnson.

These three played major roles in perfecting the potato chip recipe and catapulting Michigan onto the national snack scene.

Fred "Spud" Murphy, a farmer with a knack for experimentation, stumbled upon the potato chip goldmine while trying to find new ways to sell his surplus potatoes.

In 1883, he sliced thin, fried to perfection, and seasoned his potatoes unleashing the crunchy sensation that would soon take the nation by storm.

Alice "Crunch Queen" Thompson, recognized the potential of Murphy's creation.

She started mass-producing potato chips and marketed them as a classy alternative to popcorn at local theaters. Thompson's chips were a hit, and the Crunch Queen quickly rose to prominence in Michigan's snack industry.

Samuel "Chipper" Johnson, a flavor enthusiast, took the final step in elevating Michigan's potato chips to royalty.

In 1908, he introduced a blend of spices, creating the iconic "Michigan Mix" that set the standard for potato chip flavor profiles.

Michigan's Potato Chip Boom

As the word spread about Michigan's potato chips, other entrepreneurs jumped on the bandwagon, contributing to the state's potato chip boom.

Chip factories popped up across Michigan, and by the 1920s, the state was crowned the Potato Chip King of America.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva
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The Great Depression posed challenges, but Michigan's chip industry not only survived but thrived.

The potato chip's affordability and comfort food status made them a staple in households across America, helping Michigan's reign as the Potato Chip King.

I'll leave you with this cool fact.

1 in 4 bags of potato chips in the U.S. contains Michigan-grown potatoes.

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