There are instant noodles for quick soup and noodle dishes, and then there’s the popcorn machine for quick popcorn. We know there’s also microwavable popcorn lah, but truthfully, who likes them? Soggy with little flavour, we’ll continue sticking to fresh popcorn, please. Even though more and more people are starting to invest in popcorn machines for their homes, the origin story of how the popcorn machine came about is still a mystery. Well, lai lai, because Uncle DiDi is here to tell you all the facts about the rise of the popcorn machine.
1. Charles Cretors is the inventor behind the popcorn machine
The man who created the first-ever commercial popcorn machine is none other than Charles Cretors. Wah, we really have to say our thanks to him sia. It all started in 1885, when Cretors was unhappy with a purchase – a peanut roaster machine. Him being the ever-crafty person, he took to redesign the machine by himself, and the end result was a machine that could also cook and season popcorn lah.
You can call Cretors somewhat of a showoff as he immediately went and exhibited his invention in Chicago. Once he received the official vendor licence to sell popcorn, his company, C. Cretors & Company, went off to make its mark in history.
2. The first appearance of the popcorn machine was at the Columbian Exposition
Ever wondered why popcorn is commonly regarded as a carnival treat? Aside from it being easy and fun to eat, popcorn was introduced to the world at the Columbian Exposition, an outdoor fair held in Chicago in 1893. Now, the event is known as the World’s Fair.
3. Gold Medal became one of the world’s leading manufacturers of popcorn machine
Since popcorn was becoming a popular snack during that time period, other brands started jumping onto the bandwagon, with the more notable ones being Gold Medal. Gold Medal was founded by Dave Evans in 1931 and initially started out selling drink concentrates, but by 1949, their kettle popper, Pop-A-Lot, became an instant hit among consumers.
4. The popcorn machine expanded to different versions
The thing about Gold Medal is that they’re jin gao (Hokkein for very smart). Since their Pop-A-Lot was extremely successful, they sought to improve their popcorn machine. This is why in the 1950s, the Pop-A-Lot was re-engineered into a new and improved machine – the Whiz Bang Popcorn Machine. That’s not all hor. Afterwards, in the 1960s, they created popcorn machines that were smaller and portable in size for affordable home-use, alongside those bigger ones for industrial purposes. As such, more and more people have the ability to make popcorn at home. Swee ah!
5. Gold Medal remains a family business
Fortunately, Dave Evans’ descendants treasure his work so much that to this day, his company, Gold Medal, remains a family-owned business. As of 2022, the company is operated and headed by the third and fourth generation of the Evans family. They work alongside over 300 dealers and 350 employees to enable Gold Medal to continue its mission of being a leader in the popcorn machine industry.
Thanks to Dave Evans and his popcorn machine creations, we can enjoy making popcorn in our homes. In fact, Gold Medal’s popcorn machines are so reliable and popular that Uncle DiDi’s popcorn machines are also from them!
If you’re a popcorn fanatic like us, you tak boleh not have our Home-Use Popcorn Maker. Simply place them on a table in your kitchen or living room, and you can make popcorn right then and there. Of course lah, you can still come to us for delicious sweet or salted popcorn in Singapore, but let’s say you have a party or event to host, our popcorn machine can come in handy. We also have a Home-Use Cotton Candy Maker for those looking to make fresh cotton candy by themselves.