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Indiana's potato chip lady.

Mention potato chips, and Indiana native Myrtle Young will tell you her prized possessions have seen more than the insides of foil bags.

Young is a former potato chip inspector for Seyfert Foods Inc. in Fort Wayne. She says hers is the only potato chip collection in the world. Her chips feature likenesses of animals, cartoon characters and even profiles of famous celebrities.

"My most famous chip," Young says with excitement, "is my Bob Hope chip. He sits on cotton in a special velvet jewelry box with a lid that protects him. It's my favorite chip and it could never be replaced."

Other chips in Young's collection include the countenances of comedian Rodney Dangerfield, Yogi Bear, Mr. Magoo, Mickey Mouse, Tweety Bird, Ziggy and Moby Dick, to name only a few. "I used to have a chip that looked just like Alfred Hitchcock," says Young, "but it had an accident. It broke into a hundred pieces."

Young began taking the chips home to show her granddaughter, who suggested starting a collection. "I really began to get serious about it in 1987," Young says. "That's when I started traveling with my chips and showing them on various television shows around the world."

Have chips, will travel? Says Young: "My chips have been all over the world; from the West to the East to Europe and Great Britain. Even Lady Di, Prince Charles and their sons have seen my chips." Young has been on "Late Night with David Letterman," "The Tonight Show," "CBS This Morning," "To Tell the Truth" and many other programs.

When she was on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" in 1987, Carson grabbed a chip from a bowl under his desk when Young wasn't looking and chomped on it--she thought it was one of hers. "I thought I was going to have a heart attack," she laughs. When she was in New York for the "David Letterman Show," the hotel changed the locks on her doors to ensure the safety of her chips. On a more recent trip to Oklahoma City, the producers of the television show on which she appeared insured her chip collection for $1 million, Young says.

Ripley's "Believe It Or Not" currently has its eyes on Young's unique collection. "These institutions told me, once I notice any deterioration in my chips, I should let them know, and they will preserve them for me and put them in display units," she says. "This is a rare collection and there will never be another one like it in the world because chip inspectors are being replaced by electric eyes to weed out bad chips."

No longer a Seyfert chip inspector, Indiana's potato chip queen now gives tours at the 58-year-old company's Fort Wayne plant, which turns a million pounds of potatoes into chips each week. "I don't collect chips anymore," she says. "But every once in a while, I'll comb through the trash bins to see if any good ones have been thrown away. And every once in a while I get lucky!"
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Title Annotation:Myrtle Young of Seyfert Foods Inc.
Author:Sklar, Debbie L.
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Date:Feb 1, 1992
Previous Article:Why Northwest Indiana?
Next Article:A more positive note.

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