Modernized popcorn wagons such as this quickly replaced the simple original vendor's carts, whose owner would pop the corn by hand over an open flame. This C. Cretors Popcorn Wagon features a double-popper, bevel-edge glass, chip glass signs, retractable canvas awning and a commodious interior. The fire-proof steel body is decorated with colorful decals. The popcorn was automatically buttered and salted as it popped; peanuts were automatically transferred to a warming tray after roasting. The machinery was driven by a gas or acetylene motor, whose gears and cogs were clearly visible to the curious eyes of the customers at amusement parks and parades. The rear wheels were fitted with a braking mechanism which tightened leather bands around the hubs to keep the vehicle from rolling while business was conducted. A 1913 C. Cretors catalogue alerted the potential purchaser to the benefits of owning one of their popcorn wagons, explaining it was a "business opportunity of exceptional value which combines all the pleasant elements of a legitimate, independent and lucrative occupation with a minimum investment." This particular wagon appears to be the company's "Improved No. 1 Wagon Model 'A.” This model in 1913 cost approx. $1,000 and weighed approx. 1700 lbs.

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  • Title: Popcorn Wagon
  • Creator: C. Cretors & Company
  • Date Created: 1907
  • Location: Illinois, Chicago, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 96"h x 64 1/4"w x 143 3/4"l
  • Provenance: Museum Purchase, 1951
  • Subject Keywords: Popcorn wagon, C. Cretors & Company, Illinois, Chicago, wagon, vendor cart, peanut cart, horse-drawn vehicle, travel, transportation, vehicle, carriage, delivery vehicle, roasted nuts, popcorn
  • Type: wagon
  • Medium: wood, paint, metal, textile, glass