Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pop's Popcorn Popper

Buck & Popcorn PopperWhile cleaning up and cleaning out my family home - preparing for the eventual sale - we noticed our old popcorn popper recessed on a shelf in a closet. I remember mother letting me use it to make popcorn when I was "old enough." It was quite basic; it was plugged in or not, so inattention led to the scorched kernels I often served. But since the innovation of microwaveable popcorn memories of its use have faded into ancient history.

Sometime later we discovered this image among the family photos. It shows my father holding that popcorn maker with what was, unusual for him, a bemused smile on his face and a slightly askew bow tie. Better, someone had written on the back:
Dec. 1953 at American Legion Hall
Christmas Banquet
Contest Winners
Left to Right
E.C. Edwards, Jr.
Ellis Midkiff
Maynard Gillespie
This was obviously taken at the Christmas banquet of the Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, where my father (and the other two gentlemen) worked. Since only two are holding something and are in the foreground - Mr. Midkiff seems to have an alarm clock - I expect Mr. Gillespie is just giving the winners a hard time. Thus we learned how the popper made it into our home. We had no idea.

PopperMy sister thought it only proper that I receive custody of both the popper and the photo. And I thought it only proper to see if it still worked. It does.

Just for the record, it was manufactured by the Dominion Electric Corporation, Mansfield, Ohio, U.S.A. - Model 1702, 400 watts. Although I cannot find it on our popper, it seems to have been introduced in 1948 as the Popper Chef. Ours would be at least 55 years old. Dominion seems to be no longer in business; a Google search yielded little other than Mansfield was once known for its manufacturing, especially stoves - Westinghouse and Tappan among them.

I'm glad Pop didn't win the alarm clock.


Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed.

Your sister

the daughter (who else?) said...

to quote the infamous Swedish Chef in the Muppets Take Manhattan, 'Yaa da poppin' corn is... [throws popcorn in the air] threeee-deeeeee!"

Børk! Børk! Børk!

Ben said...

Howdy Bibb: I couldn't help but post a comment to this picture and your story. I just recently had to quit using my model 1702 popper when the cord went bad. Our family had used it since I was small, and I'm now 57. My mother told me that my father also received it as a prize. It was for cleaning the most cars in a week at a used car lot. Thanx for the memories!!
BenAgain in San Francisco

Anonymous said...

My 19 year old son who loves this very same popper in our house dropped the salt shaker on our lid and broke it last week. It was so sad to lose that piece of history. I have been using this popper my whole life.