A Cretors Model C horse drawn popcorn and peanut wagon circa 1903. This popcorn wagon is a fully functional concession stand complete with a custom-built trailer and all the accouterments and equipment needed to pop and roast. The wagon is entirely authentic. All restoration and replacement parts were sourced from other original Cretors popcorn wagons most notably, the steam/popping equipment and hardware. The propane fuel tank hidden beneath the peanut tray is original to this popcorn wagon. The level of precision and perfection that has gone into restoring this one-of-a-kind popcorn wagon is seen throughout the entire body which features extensive hot riveting, sterling silver hardware and meticulous painting and pin striping.
The wagon is built for one-horse propulsion, having solid axles with transverse full-elliptic leaf-spring front suspension and longitudinal semi-elliptic rear springs. The body of the wagon is painted in red with decorative gold striping, black accents and contrasting yellow wheels and trace. A red and white canvas awning rolls out on the vending side. At the front, the raised steam popper spills fresh popcorn into a large bin behind glass, from which it is dispensed to customers. On the far side is the peanut roasting drum, and opposite, next to the vending window, is the small steam engine.
Popcorn wagon: 15'6" x 9' x 6'
Custom trailer: 21'6" x 9'2" x 7'
This travel trailer is custom designed to conform to the shape and size of the popcorn wagon.
Popcorn wagon and trailer can be previewed in Philadelphia but by appointment only. To schedule a preview appointment please call our office at 215.438.6990
In 1891 Charles Cretors, a Decatur, Illinois confectioner, devised a steam-powered machine that would roast 12 pounds of peanuts and 20 pounds of coffee, as well as pop corn and bake chestnuts. As a fully-mechanized unit, it provided more consistent quality than roasting by hand, and the operation itself provided entertainment for the customer. At the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, he transfixed the public with the smell and taste of delectable snacks provided by his hand-drawn cart.
His horse-drawn popcorn and peanut vending wagons, which debuted around 1900, used steam for roasting and popping, which gave a much better product than open flame designs. The steam kept the roasted and popped products warm, and a small steam engine rotated the roasting drum. The popularity of popcorn in movie theaters ensured a lasting business for roasting equipment, and C. Cretors and Company remains a cornerstone of the hot snack food industry today.
Provenance: From the original collection of Richard and Linda Scott from Sidney, OH. Richard and Linda are life-long collectors of various antiques, having attended auctions all over the world. The impassioned couple have invested incredible thought into their collection, capturing important relics of American history.