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Unformatted text preview: fections. Streams of sliced potatoes pour from machines. The place has a cheerful, humble, Eisenhower-era feeling, as though
someone’s dream of technological progress, of better living through frozen food, has been fulfilled. Looming over the whole enterprise is the
spirit of one man: John Richard Simplot, America’s great potato baron, whose seemingly inexhaustible energy and willingness to take risks
built an empire based on french fries. By far the most important figure in one of the nation’s most conservative states, Simplot displays the
contradictory traits that have guided the economic development of the American West, the odd mixture of rugged individualism and a
dependence upon public land and resources. In a portrait that hangs above the reception desk at the Aberdeen plant, J. R. Simplot has the
sly grin of a gambler who’s scored big.
Simplot was born in 1909. His family left Dubuque, Iowa, the following year and eventually settled in Idaho. The Snake River Reclamation
Project was offering cheap water for irrigation, funded by the U.S. government, th...
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2014 for the course MGMT 120 taught by Professor Litt during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.
- Spring '08