Cretors Models

Cretors #1 1899
Cretors #1 1912

Cretors #2 1906
Model C 1910
Model D 1915
Earnmore 1917

Model TT 1927
Cretors 401 1922
Cretors #6 1921
Eclipse 1926
Volume Tester

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C. Cretors & Company History

 

C. Cretors & Company Machines

Cretors Official Volume Tester

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Determining popcorn volume was the key to knowing that you had quality popcorn to sell to the trade. In 1935, when W.H. Brown raised his 27-acre crop of popcorn, he had it cleaned and packaged at Marion Grain and Supply the following summer. He had no specific method of testing its ability to pop so he bought a home­type wire basket popper identical in principle to the large 100­year old store type popper shown in our displays. This raw popper was used over a gas stove in the basement of W. Hoover Brown's home at 429 Mt. Vernon Avenue in Marion, Ohio. They measured a given amount of grain in a cup, then made a tube that was graduated so you could read the expansion of the corn. Popcorn sold then popped from 18 times its original volume to a maximum of 25 or 26. Mr. Brown established his goal as 25 to 27 times its original size. He called his first advertised brand X-30, indicating that it would pop 30 times its original size. That was certainly his goal, but it was not attainable in the first few years.

In 1936, Mr. Brown converted his former one room brick school house to a popcorn processing and drying facility. He bought a Cretors 6 oz. pedestal-type popper that would get consistent heat and agitation in order to quality test his popcorn. A tube was produced to measure the amount of popcorn coming out of that 6 oz. machine. It was, of course, a much larger tube than he was able to fill with his previous basket popper over the gas stove.

Others in the popcorn processing business were using the 6 oz. Cretors kettle for their expansion testing. It was electric, had good heat controls, and performed well.

In February 1940, Cretors & Company developed a cabinet called the Cretors Cadet Model for the 6 oz. popper. Eventually, Wyandot Popcorn Company bought a Cadet Popper and continued to use the original 6 oz. unit on a pedestal. A hopper had been constructed for the pedestal popper as well as a measuring tube. In 1940, 1941, and 1942, George and David Brown operated a popcorn concession tent at the Marion County Fairgrounds located adjacent to the grandstand. All the popcorn was popped on location using Wyandot's Cretors 6 oz. pedestal popper and 6 oz. Cadet model. In order to meet the demand, George and David started popping at about 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. after sleeping overnight in the tent. They would continue popping until late afternoon after all of the popped, salted, and ready-to-eat popcorn was placed in large steel drums for later sale. As the late afternoon and evening popcorn sales were significantly larger than the popping capacity, the cold was mixed in with the hot corn to make a good salable, warm product.

In the early 80's, the Wyandot Popcorn Museum obtained an unrestored Cretors Cadet Model. Unfortunately, finding the striped stainless steel panels at the base of the machine proved unsuccessful and the unrestored popper was junked. Some day we hope to reinstate the project with another Cadet Model.

In the World War II years, Cretors found that most popcorn processors were using the 6 oz. Cadet as their volume testing unit. They were requested by the Popcorn Processors Association and its Executive Director, William E. Smith, to design an official volume tester. This was done by using a cup which held approximately 6 oz. of popcorn, it was filled to overflowing, then a straight edge was zigzagged across it to level the corn. A stainless steel tube with hopper and frame as a support was developed by Cretors. This unit was called the Official Volume Tester produced by Cretors & Company in cooperation with the Popcorn Processors Association.

In the latter years of World War II when the Official Volume Tester was designed, popcorn expansion ranged from 24 to 28 times its original size. In the mid to late 50's, the expansion had exceeded the top range of the Official Volume Tester tube. Changes were made by lengthening the legs of the support and hopper and lengthening the tube. Since the popcorn had the tendency to overflow, a stainless steel guard was placed at the top of the hopper which extended the sides and retained the popped corn. The unit on display here is the Modified Official Volume Tester that was actually called the Weight Volume Tester. The Metric Volume Tester used a 150-gram sample and measured it in cubic inches per pound. This unit has been superseded in the late 70's by the Cretors Official Metric Volume Tester which measures the expansion in cc's per gram. It is interesting to note that one gram of raw popcorn is approximately one cc. In other words, a popcorn quality of 45 cc/gram is approximately 45 times its original size.

 

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