Who Is Mr. Pringles? The True Story Behind Julius Pringles

Teddy Roosevelt. Hulk Hogan. John Waters. Throughout history we have been witness to some truly great mustaches. And in the hallowed halls of The Mustache Hall of Fame, there most certainly is a spot saved for the man on the can, the Pringles Guy aka Mr. Julius Pringles. 

Who is Julius Pringles?

If this 1973 commercial is any indication, Julius Pringles was a real Snack Man who came from humble beginnings and, with some hard work and ingenuity, changed the potato chip game forever. Much in the vein of Orville Redenbacher or Oscar Mayer, Mr. Pringle’s jovial demeanor helped bring chips in a tube to an international audience. It’s a heartwarming story, isn’t it?

Lies. All of it, lies. Much in the vein of Cap’n Crunch or The Noid, Mr. Pringles is a figment, an illusion, a corporate creation designed to fill our hearts with that warm, old-timey feeling and the desire to snack. The truth is Pringles were created by a team of food scientists at Procter & Gamble to address the age-old dilemma of broken and greasy chips that come in a bag.

A chemist named Fredric J. Bauer developed the chip’s unique saddle shape which, in the mathematical world, is called a hyperbolic paraboloid. Researcher Alexander Liepa soon took on the project and ultimately earned the patent for the chip. And engineer Gene Wolfe created the machine used for making the chips. Pringles first hit the shelves in 1968 and by 1991 they were sold internationally.

But the name Julius Pringles is so perfect. Surely it references someone real?

Alas, dear reader, it seems as though it doesn’t. The character was designed by a man named Louis R. Dixon, originally with a large handlebar mustache and hair parted down the middle. The ornate initial design has morphed quite a lot over the years. Today, the simplified logo doesn’t even have hair anymore. 

The name “Pringles” has several origin stories. Some think it comes from a man named Mark Pringle, who held a patent for processing potato chips from 1937. Others say it was the name of a street where some of the P&G marketing team resided. Some folks say the name was simply pulled from a hat.

Even the name Julius has a dubious origin—a Wikipedia hoax. Two college students came up with the name and changed it on Wikipedia in 2006. After P&G sold the Pringles brand to Kraft in 2012, the company accepted “Julius” as the true name of the Pringles guy.

And if that hasn’t shattered your trust in the Pringles company enough, Pringles aren’t really even potato chips

I don’t know what to believe anymore. My reality has been shattered.

Me too, dear reader. Me too.

Best pringles flavors

Best Pringles Flavors

Now that you know all about the Pringles guy, find out what the best Pringles flavor is. We got our hand stuck in the tube tasting crisp after crisp.

About the Author

Luke Field

Luke Field is a writer and actor originally from Philadelphia. He was the former Head Writer of branded content at CollegeHumor and was also a contributing writer and actor to the CollegeHumor Originals cast. He has extensive improv and sketch stage experience, performing both at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and with their Touring Company. In addition to writing, he also works as a Story Producer, most recently on season 4 of Accident, Suicide, or Murder on Oxygen. Keep your eyes peeled for his brief but impactful appearance as Kevin, the screaming security guard, in the upcoming feature The Disruptors, directed by Adam Frucci.

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