Potatoes enter a factory as dirt-covered round brown things, and leave as potato chips. What kind of mysterious magic happens to them in between? Two reporters from NPR’s Planet Money team visited a Herr’s potato chip factory to find out what happens to turn vegetables into bags of delicious oil-filled snacks, and how that process has changed over the decades that the factory has been in operation.
Because this is the internet, they showed key parts of the chip-making process in a series of hypnotic animated GIFs.
Here, for example, is the bagging machine that cranks out one hundred bags of chips per minute. Back when the company’s founding family made and packaged all of the chips by hand, they got maybe three bags out per minute.
50 Years Of Potato Chip Innovation, In 5 Animated GIFS [Planet Money]