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ThuDec 2

Business of Popping Corn Day – December 2, 2021

Business of Popping Corn Day is an annual holiday celebrated on December 2 to commemorate the invention of the first large-scale commercial oil popcorn popper by Charles Cretors in 1885. Did you know Cretors almost gave up on the journey that kick-started his career, first as a manufacturer of biscuits, then as a mechanist and painter, all of which were critical in helping him invent the popcorn popper?

History of Business of Popping Corn Day

Business of Popping Corn Day celebrates Charles Cretors and his invention — the popcorn machine.
His was the first large-scale commercial oil popcorn popper and was invented in 1885, first as a peanut popper. This was due to Charles’ discontentment with all the popular peanut poppers available at the time, as confirmed by his great-grandson who said, “My great-grandfather had a candy store in Decatur, Illinois. He bought a peanut roaster that he didn’t like and thought he could do a better job. So he sold everything and moved to Chicago to build a better peanut roaster, which he proceeded to do. He had a City of Chicago peddlers license dated 1885, and that’s how we date the start of the company.”

In the 19th century, most people made popcorn by holding long-handled wire boxes filled with kernels over fires that, although effective for home consumption, were inadequate for commercial success. It was Cretors’ machines, invented through his C. Cretors & Company in 1885, that soon made it practical for people to get into the business of popping corn.

Cretors powered his popcorn machine with a steam engine, allowing for automation. The steam was created by a fire under a broiler and powered the small engine, which, in turn, moved the gears, shaft, and an agitator, stirring the kernels. The fresh popcorn was caught in a storage bin. Additionally, steam was diverted to a whistle, which caught the attention of customers.

He applied for a patent for his invention on August 10, 1891, and it was granted on October 10, 1893. The same year, he took his invention to the World’s Columbian Exposition where the wider public could sample his machine’s popcorn for the first time.

Business of Popping Corn Day timeline

1852
Charles Cretors is Born

Charles Cretors is born in Lebanon, Ohio.

1870s
New City, the First Business

Cretors goes to Fort Scott, Kansas, and opens a successful homemade crackers bakery.

1885
The First Commercial Popcorn Machine is Invented

Cretors invents the first large-scale commercial oil popcorn machine.

1893
Trade Fair Launch

Cretors successfully introduces his invention at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.

Business of Popping Corn Day FAQs

Why do we have Business of Popping Corn Day?

Business of Popping Corn Day is observed to commemorate the invention of the first large-scale commercial oil popcorn popper.

Who is Charles Cretors?

Cretors is recognized as the inventor of the first large-scale commercial oil popcorn popper and while he didn’t invent popcorn, he popularized it.

How long does it take corn to pop?

The kernels should dry properly in six hours. The dried kernels are ready to pop into corn almost immediately.

Business of Popping Corn Day Activities

  1. Make popcorn

    Observe Business of Popping Corn Day by popping — you guessed it — corn! Celebrate this centuries-old snack by making popcorn in inventive new ways and sharing it with friends and family.

  2. Visit an exhibition museum

    Exhibition museums are where you’ll be able to witness the progression of the corn popping machine, from the time of invention to the present day. Go to one dedicated to showing relics of food production equipment to really celebrate the day.

  3. Talk about Charles Cretors on social media

    Charles Cretors had a testing but amazing life! Share insights about him and tell his story to people online. Use the hashtag #BusinessOfPoppingCornDay.

5 Things You Should Know About Charles Cretors

  1. He was the youngest of 11 kids

    Cretors was the son of a house painter and the youngest of 11 kids who were all raised strictly as Methodists.

  2. He quit a successful biscuit business

    Cretors decided to quit his successful homemade crackers bakery to move away from the town he lived in due to the tragic death of his one-year-old son Edwin in 1876.

  3. His original idea was a peanut roaster

    According to his great-grandson and fourth-generation CEO of his company, the idea behind his corn popper started as an effort to build a better peanut roaster.

  4. Cretors put popcorn on the map

    Although Cretors did not invent popcorn, he’s widely regarded as the person who put popcorn on the map since.

  5. The Special

    Cretors was also responsible for introducing the Special, the first large horse-drawn popcorn wagon.

Why We Love Business of Popping Corn Day

  1. We get to taste popcorn variants

    On Business of Popping Corn Day, people get especially creative when making popcorn. As a result, we get to enjoy several varieties.

  2. That famous popcorn smell

    The smell of popcorn is said to be unusually attractive to humans. This is because popcorn contains high levels of specific chemicals and very powerful aroma compounds that soothe the nostrils.

  3. For the ’gram

    Popcorn and popcorn carts are some of the most Instagram-worthy subjects! Holding your delectable popcorn next to a serving cart makes for the perfect selfie!

Business of Popping Corn Day dates

YearDateDay
2021December 2Thursday
2022December 2Friday
2023December 2Saturday
2024December 2Monday
2025December 2Tuesday

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