The American Treasure Tour is all about changing things up every now and again. We never want to be accused of getting stale, which is something we have in common with people in the snack treat industry. Which may (but not really) explain why we have a tin on display for New Era Potato Chips - self-declared as "A Healthy Food ... On the Alkaline Side." Ever since potato chips were introduced in a resort hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York by chef George Crum, people have been celebrating their tasty combination of oil and salt and their crunchy thinness. The problem is that chips generally aren't very healthy. The Detroit, Michigan-based Nicolay Dansy Company claimed to have changed all of that with New Era chips when they were introduced in 1951.
According to "Science," the alkalinity and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil used in creating their chips made them healthy to the extreme. "Feast without Fear," they claim on their tin! Of course, one might argue that the less you know the easier you can live without fear. No one is really sure what New Era meant with their reference to the alkalinity of the chips, and we somehow doubt that the use of hydrogenated oil, likely as a preservative, did anything more than shorten the lives of New Era consumers thanks to the trans fats it incorporated. Nicolay Dansy was bought out by the snack treat giant Frito-Lay in 1982, and New Era potato chips disappeared right around that time.