Monday, May 10, 2010

Who Invented the Popcorn Machine?

Corn popped over an open flame was sold by vendors in the 1880s, but it was not popular. Charles Cretors, an inventor with a flair for sales and advertising, changed the history of popcorn with the introduction of a steam-powered popping machine.



    The Peanut Roaster

  1. Cretors, a sign painter and candy store owner, was interested in how things worked. His purchase of a steam-powered peanut roaster inspired him to design an improved roasting machine, says the Popcorn Machine Site.
  2. Advertising

  3. Cretors added hand-painted details to the outside of his machine, which had "striping ... in gold leaf and color." He also attracted customers with a small clown called the "Toasty Roasty" man, who cranked the peanuts, according to the Peanut King website.
  4. The Popcorn Machine

  5. In 1893, Cretors patented a process for popping popcorn, using a seasoning mix of lard and butter oil. Soon his popcorn was more popular than his peanuts.
  6. Colombian Exposition

  7. The popcorn machine was featured at the 1893 Colombian Exposition in Chicago. At first, Cretors gave it away, then started a new batch. The aroma of freshly popped corn then attracted new customers.
  8. The Popcorn Wagon Evolves

  9. The first popcorn machines were built on hand-pulled carts. After 1900, the carts were replaced by horse-drawn wagons.

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