In 1885 Charles Cretors set out to build an improved peanut roaster. At the time, the process was done by hand which lead to uneven roasting and inconsistencies in the finished product. Cretors moved to Chicago where he met traveling salesman J.M. Savage who convinced him there was a market for this type of invention. In 1893 Cretors, had finally completed and patented what was the first automated popcorn machine. The machine was steam-powered and popped corn in oil and seasoning, doing so evenly which gave customers a much more consistent experience. That same year Cretors set up a hand-drawn cart at the Chicago Columbian Exposition. It drew large crowds many of which were curious to whiteness the operation of his impressive machine as well as experience the deliciousness of the products it produced. From there the business grew, and Cretors expanded his concession business to other products. In changing with the times Cretors later produced horse-drawn concession stands and with the advent of the automobile even concession trucks. Cretors had an excellent knack for product promotion. His stands, wagons, and trucks were all painted in a similar fashion typically red, featuring distinctive gold leaf lettering. Also consistent with all of the Cretors concession stands was the prominent display of the machines which provided the delicious snacks, giving customers an insight to the process. The company remains in business today, a testament to five generations of family ownership and a successfull product line that has continued to adapt to changes in the concession market.
This 1910 Cretors Model D Horse-Drawn Popcorn Wagon has been beautifully restored to its current condition. If features the iconic Cretors vending design with bright red paint, gold leaf lettering, red and white stripe awnings, beautiful woodwork, and bevel-edged glass throughout – giving customers a unique glimpse into the popcorn making process. The wagon features solid front and rear axles, a fully elliptical front leaf spring suspension as well as longitudinal semi-elliptical rear leaf springs all of which are finished in a bright yellow. The wagon rides on solid rubber tires mounted on wood-spoke wheels once again finished in bright yellow but also featuring red pinstriping. The bright yellow chassis and wheels beautifully accent the red bodywork of the wagon. While the wagon has been restored to an excellent period appearance, it has been updated with a modern electric popcorn popper for easier use. The wagon does retain a genuine Cretors No. 2 oscillating steam engine, prominently displayed behind a window next to the counter.
This unique 1910 Cretors Model D Horse-Drawn Popcorn Wagon is a true time capsule, taking you back to the turn of the 20th century and the dawn of the concession business.