Monday, November 16, 2015

Uncanny Finds: Pringle's Can(dle)

I've mentioned this before, but we were a thrifty household when I was growing up and my parents weren't much into anything newfangled. "Newfangled" typically meant more money and if the old reliable met the need, newfangled need not apply.
So when a friend of mine brought Pringle's in his school lunch sometime around 1975, I was intrigued.  We were a "Sally So-Good" potato chip house.  These were locally-made, random-sized, greasy chips, some burnt, some with green edges (I swear I'm not kidding).  And here were identical chips stacked neatly in a baggy; perfect texture, clone-like consistency and no browning.  I could only stare in envy.

Introduced regionally by Procter & Gamble in 1967, Pringle's Potato Chips went nationwide in 1975, around the time my friend was munching on them in the lunch room. Pringle's chips are actually a fried dough made from 42% dehydrated potatoes mixed with flours and oils formed into a hyperbolic paraboloid.   It wasn't long before other chip manufacturers were crying foul (a sure sign Pringle's was doing well) charging Pringle's Chips weren't in fact "chips" in the true sense.  The U.S. Food & Drug Administration agreed and that's the reason today's cans say "Pringle's Crisps".

The can sports the original Proctor & Gamble logo which was eventually changed due to the public's belief the symbol was satanic.

The inside of the can has the original ribbed liner and therein lies the reason why I was finally able to try Pringle's about a year after I first saw them.  

In third grade, my art teacher wanted us to create a Christmas candle to give to our mothers.  The materials needed required the purchase of a can of Pringle's.  Our teacher's design was to use an empty Pringle's can with the liner, fill with red-colored wax and tie a wick to a pencil and hang from the top.  This created a fairly substantial fluted candle that fit perfectly in one of those bulky 1970's wooden candle holders.  Mine went on the family console stereo and was drug out at Christmas for years afterward as shown in the photo below.  I don't believe it was ever lit.


  1. ahh, the classic pringle's can candle! i had forgotten about these. also good were milk cartons, for square candles. i love that they actually use the word "newfangled," haha

  2. Classic containers or labels are sometimes the best!

  3. WoW!! I totally forgot about that ridged liner those Pringles cans had inside!

    Oh, and another thing about Pringles cans in the '70s...remember how they had that "pop-top" lid with the little hoop/ring you had to stick your fingers in to peel the lid off, exposing that exquisitely razor-sharp edge that would totally cut your wrists and forearm if you weren't careful.

    If I remember right, one of the kids in my elementary school actually *did* cut his wrists from the inside of those cans, and his parents filed a lawsuit. In return, I think he got like, a lifetime supply of Pringles or something (or some crazy number of cases, I can't recall). At first we were like, "aw cool!" but then we realized that he just got more chances to cut himself, lol.

    1. i wonder when they stopped putting that ridged liner in the can? seems like it was an integral part of keeping them from getting crushed during shipment. and oh yeah, i remember that sharp edge... i wonder, if he got a lifetime supply, if he is still getting them and if he's sick to death of them. i imagine some guy out there giving them away every chance he gets, haha "oh no, it's a gift from george... i WONDER what it could be, sigh..."

    2. If something like that happened today, he'd have been awarded a multi-million dollar settlement and we'd all be looking at warnings like "WARNING: SHARP LID. MAY CUT HANDS OR WRISTS!" on the containers.

      One time, we received a big burnt ball of Doritos in a bag. Frito-Lay sent us a bunch of free chips, but not a lifetime supply.


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