“It’s all about the inherent beauty and power of uniformity, every chip looks the same, acts the same.”
– Eric Spitznagle, (author of The Junk Food Companion.)
Fredric J. Baur, of Cincinnati, the inventor of the Pringles can was cremated in 2008, just 20 days of his 90th birthday.
In 1966, Baur came up with a clever way for Procter & Gamble to stack chips uniformly rather than tossing them in a bag. He was also the one that originally came up with the “saddle” shape hyperbolic paraboloid of the fried dough that is Pringles. While employed by Proctor & Gamble as chemist, he was assigned the task of finding a way to get around the problem of stale and broken chips in bags and thus worked on finding an alternative “chip” and container. He was so proud of the achievement that he wanted to go to his grave with it.
Baur’s children said they honored his request to bury him in one of the cans by placing part of his cremated remains in a Pringles container in his grave in suburban Springfield Township. The rest of his remains were placed in an urn buried along with the can, with some placed in another urn and given to a grandson, said Baur’s daughter, Linda Baur of Mississippi.
“When my dad first raised the burial idea in the 1980s, I chuckled about it,” Baur’s eldest son Larry, 49, told TIME. Larry Baur quickly realized his father was serious. Family jokes circulated about the Pringles plan, but no one questioned the elder Baur’s decision. So when Frederic Baur died after a battle with Alzheimer’s, Larry and his siblings stopped at Walgreen’s for a burial can of Pringles on their way to the funeral home. “My siblings and I briefly debated what flavor to use,” Baur says, “but I said, ‘Look, we need to use the original.'”