1923 Cretors Popcorn Wagon
|The story of Charles Cretors is the traditional one of a man building a better mousetrap, or in this case, a better peanut roaster. Cretors ran a candy shop in Decatur, Illinois that featured a peanut roaster in the front window as an attraction. Upon moving to Chicago, Cretors designed and built his own roaster. Realizing that some sort of action was needed to attract customers, Cretors utilized a small steam engine to turn the roaster and poppers. The Roasty Toasty Man seen at the popper was present in even the earliest Cretors machines.
Built on a 1922 Ford Model T, such a vehicle could have been seen at any tourist attraction, such as Old Orchard Beach, selling its wares. The lights and canopy suggest an air of permanence, evidence that the wagon may have been driven to a specific location to sell all day rather than selling on the go, as with an ice-cream truck or milk delivery truck.
Specifications: 20 horsepower, 176.6 cubic inch, in-line four-cylinder engine. Transmission: Two-speed planetary. Cost: $3,000.
Connections: Compare to the Ford Model Ts on display in the Museum.
Donated by the estate of Stewart B. Kean
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