The New Era of Healthy Food―Potato Chips

9 11 2007

The New Era Potato Chips
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Feast Without Fear!! Back in the 30s, The New Era came out with this great new health food―Potato Chips, in a can!! Back when “Scientifically Processed” meant better.

On the back:
Science Says… “The Alkaline Side is the Healthy Side.”

New Era Potato Chips and partially starch dextrinized and therefore more readily digested… Chemical analyses have proven NEW ERA Potato Chips to be a highly concentrated energy producing food, 95% digestible and of greater alkalinity than even fresh raw potatoes.

Their product must be healthy, just look at all those slim, active silhouettes horseriding, fishing, golfing, sledding, swimming, playing tennis, and skiing!

Found this can of scientific wonder at Urban Ore (the ultimate in complete recycling and thrift, located in Berkeley, CA).

See a fabulous photo of a New Era ad on a barn silo, by loungelistener

Read an interesting history-packed article on Snack foods and pop, Detroit style




20 responses

21 02 2010
f ludwig

I have two card board “new era” containers that I have collected over the years.
One is pre-priced at 62cents for a one pound box.

I sure would like to find a source of historical data on the new era company

9 06 2012

I have just read you responce to an article about the New-Era Potato Chip Co. If you would still like some Info on the company….I can fill you in. My grandfather was one of the co-founders in 1926. E-mail me and I’ll give you the scoop. Nothing tasted better than warm chips right off of the salter table.

25 03 2010

Hi Paula,

Great find! We have an identical can here at Spadina museum in Toronto and are trying to date it precisely. Where did you find the 1930’s date?
LOVE the barn pic – too perfect! Love your site, too. This will be a favourite, I’m sure.


25 03 2010

I found the date, I think, by reading up on the product, plus I study design of the past, and the design and colors are from the 30s. I’ve talked to a few other people with this same can.

14 04 2010

I am trying to find out The New Era Potato Chip Company’s owners name. Any suggestions? Also, might any of the family still be living & if so are they in the area? Thanks for any assistance.

4 09 2010
Donald Duchene

I am the first borne grandchild Mr nicolay my name Don Duchene Jr I live the Fl Keys Please feel free to call me at any time for info about New era

9 08 2010

I received a can of these chips for Christmas back in the 40’s, I was thrilled since I am a chip lover and these were the BEST!

4 09 2010
Donald Duchene

Hi My Name Is Donald L Duchene Jr. My Grandfather Ernest l Nicolay and His partner Rv Dancey started in busniess in 1926 in Detroit They started making Shoestring potatos Then My grandfather invented a hand crank wheel to slice potato chips. New era became the largest selling Potato chips in the country. They outsold everyone 3 To 1 Nationwide 1959 When My Grandfather Merged With the Frito Co. To become The Frito Nicolay Dancey co. In 1960 They merged with herman Lay The rest is History Pepsi Bought Fl 1965

9 02 2011
Bruce Hansen

The operation was started in the basement a 1929 built house at 4351 Three Mile Drive built and owned by my grandparents. My grandmother said guys who were brought up from Appalachia took turns sleeping in the same beds and making chips in the basement. The operation was so successful that it moved to a place on Shoemaker later occupied by the Wolverine potato chip company. My grandmother complained about how much work was involved getting the grease off of every surface in the house and getting it back up to Belgian standards of cleanliness. She was, however, greatful to have renters who were faithful to pay the rent through though the depression.

23 09 2010
George Cundari

I’ve seen old, faded ads for New Era that were painted on sides of buildings (probably in the ’50s or early ’60s). I don’t recall ever trying New Era. What is the relevance of the silhouette of the woman with her hand on her head?

19 10 2010
franz ludwig

What can you tell me about a one pound, pre priced box of chips.

It is a cardboard box,

28 10 2010
Oscilloscope :

some of the health foods that i always eat are those gluten free foods*.-

19 11 2010

where can I purchase these chips? or can you my mom was born in mischigan and was talking to me about them and how wonderful they were would like to suprise her for christmas thanks

10 12 2010
Ron Navickas

One of the best potato chips made anywhere, still have a can (empty) in our garage. Too bad the product Frito-Lay produces today isn’t as good as the original.

30 01 2011
janet beaver

i was looking in my garage and found this same can of potato chips so cool

1 05 2011
Regina Lobdell

That lovely lady on the front of the tin is my grandmother!! She used to tell me about working for the potato chip company and how they pulled her off the factory floor one afternoon to sketch her silhouette. She was never paid for the use of her picture but was afraid to complain because she didn’t want to lose the job she desperately needed. Her name was Velma.

1 05 2011

What a fabulous story! Thanks for sharing!

26 06 2011
Ryan Mac

These are great stories. Thanks for the info. I fond a tin at a garage sale and got it for $2. A cool buy. In searching for info, this is the best yet. Very cool. Surprised to see a tin is in a museum in Canada? Nice. Any idea of the true value of these tins? are there collectors out there?

Any info would be great. Thanks again for sharing.

23 10 2011

I bought a can at an antique store in Kintore Ontario Canada for $25.

12 05 2012
Mama Jean

I have two of these cans. Thanks for the info. Think I found them at a yard sale here in southern WV years ago. I decorate my house using interesting stuff like this. Very interesting comments. Google whatever you’re curious about…

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