Inventor's Ashes Buried in His Creation: Pringles Can
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
We turn now to the man behind the bright red Pringles can who's been laid to rest in his own invention. Frederick Baur died last month at the age of 89. At his request, some of Baur's ashes were buried in the very container that helped launch a billion dollar snack food. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
SCOTT HORSLEY: If it weren't for Frederic Baur, Pringle might still be just a street name in suburban Cincinnati. Back in the 1960s, Cincinnati-based Procter and Gamble, where Baur worked, developed a potato chip made from dehydrated flour and shaped like a saddle. They didn't look like any other potato chip in the store. And Baur's can was just as novel.
Mr. STEVE REISS (Packaging Digest): You can have the best product in the world, but if the package doesn't speak to people they may never try it.
HORSLEY: People did try Pringles by the millions, and Steve Reiss of Packaging Digest says the can was a key selling point. Baur won a patent on the tubular container in 1970. Reese says almost four decades later the Pringles can still stands out.
Mr. REISS: They took a product which people had been consuming for years and they gave it a whole new set of properties. They created a tube that was resealable. It would ensure that the product wouldn't be damaged, the chips wouldn't be broken. And to a certain extent it made eating potato chips a little bit of fun, because, you know, I've seen kids play with those things.
HORSLEY: Procter and Gamble has tinkered with the taste of Pringles over the years, adding salt and grease and later a fat free version, but the chips are still lovingly packed in Baur's can. And now so is the inventor himself.
Scott Horsley, NPR News.
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