A huge draw for my wife in the city of Marion was the Wyandot Popcorn Museum. It was located in a room in Heritage Hall, the museum located in the old post office building.
There were probably 50 popcorn machines in the room, of all sizes from trucks and wagons to table-top varieties. There were also displays about the history of popcorn as a snack, about popcorn packaging and, of course, about Wyandot Snack Company, the local popcorn company that owns the museum machines.
1909 Dunbar Horse-drawn Wagon formerly owned by Paul Newman to promote his Newman’s Own Popcorn.
The machine on the right is a 1930 Emerson.
1927 Model T Cretors Popcorn Truck. It originally ran on white gas to drive the steam engine, pop the corn and operate the peanut roaster. There are only seven of these still in existence.
Several of the machines had little clowns like this one that “turned” the crank. Some of them were inside the cases, and I have no idea how the operator kept them from getting saturated with oil.
1922 Cretors Store Front Popper and Peanut Roaster. The clown in the photo (above) stands on this machine.
The machine in the middle is a 1930 Holcomb & Hoke. The one on the left is a 1918 Holcomb & Hoke. It was very complicated and required weekly maintenance. The 1930 machine is a simplified version. The video is of the 1918 model.
The machine in the right foreground is a 1910 Bartholomew. This machine has never been restored.
1899 Cretors Wagon. The photo shows what it looked like before it was restored.
On the right on the counter is a 1910-1920 Holcomb & Hoke economy model. The side storage compartments are mini-rolltops.
On the right is an Empire Peanut Roaster and Warmer. It operated on alcohol.
The blue-fronted machine on the right, a 1928 Star Advance “Profit” model, advertises “French-fried Popcorn.”
The one on the left is a 1939 Manley Lifetime Popper.
This one was my favorite, although I’m not sure I can tell you why. It’s a 1905 Kingery wet popper. The sign is original.
A 1948 Auto-Pop 10-cent Popcorn Vendor, used for only three weeks.
We had a hot air popper much like the one on the left in this next photo. It made popcorn with no taste whatsoever and with the texture of Styrofoam.
The museum also featured an exhibit on Cracker Jacks, with a display of prizes given away in boxes over the years.
On our way out, they gave us each a box of stale popcorn to go.