North Dakota man collects more than 1,000 vintage potato chip canisters

Published: Nov. 20, 2016 at 10:13 PM CST
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Potato chips have been a staple of the American diet since the turn of the century. In the early 1900s the snack was sold in tin containers.

The original canisters that kept munchies fresh haven't become stale for Gregg Halverson who has amassed a collection of over a thousand pieces of potato chip history.

"Potato chips taste just as good, they may taste even better out of a chip can," says Greg Halverson.

Greg is a snack food aficionado when it comes to taste treat tins.

"It's more of an obsession than a collection," says Halverson.

He's amassed over a thousand vintage potato chip canisters.

A hundred year's ago, there were hundred's of Mom and Pop potato chip companies. Gregg says almost every city of any size had a munchie manufacturers.

"Each brand has a little different oil, a little bit different cut, a little different seasoning, a little bit different salt."

There's over a thousand different cans in this collection some contain salty stories.

"How would you like to be a manufacturer that when we were bombing the Japanese to be called Japps," says Halverson.

During World War Two, The Japps Potato chip company was peppered with negative stereotyping.

"What the Japps did is they changed there brand, they went from Japps to Jays," says Greg Halverson.

Only a small piece of Gregg's collection is displayed at Black Gold farms in Grand Forks. The rest of the canisters are in storage because there isn't enough shelf space to display all of them in one place. An excess of potato chip pails isn't preventing Gregg from stocking up even more memorabilia.

"There's always room for one more," says Greg.

Halverson seems to have taken the Lays Potato Chip slogan to heart, "He can't collect just one."

Greg Halverson is the president of Black Gold Farms, a global potato production, sales and service company that is nation's largest supplier of chip potatoes.

Greg's potato chip canister collection can be seen at the company's home office in Grand Forks.