There’s just something about popcorn… I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like it. And I’ve also never met anyone who doesn’t develop an instant craving at the very hint of popcorn scent in the air!
I found a popcorn museum!
The Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Marian, Ohio, is a fun stop for everyone. The cheerful red, white, and blue circus tent over the collection of popcorn machines and peanut roasters through the ages sets the perfect atmosphere to learn the history of popcorn in general, and specifically the history of the Wyandot Popcorn Company.
It was fun to see all the different types of popcorn and peanut machines but I thought reading about the history of popcorn and the Wyandot Popcorn Company was super interesting.
The museum in Marian is one of only two popcorn museums in the world (the other one is also in Ohio, believe it or not!) and it holds the largest collection of restored popcorn antiques. In addition to the popcorn collection, the Wyandot Popcorn Museum also includes local history displays. And because the building that holds the museum was once the local post office, you can also see some of the original post office boxes still in place.
Fun Facts about Popcorn
- The first commercial popcorn machine was invented in 1885.
- Nebraska grows the most popcorn in America.
- Popcorn garland is a popular homemade decoration for Christmas trees.
- Microwave popcorn was invented in 1982 by Pillsbury.
- Popcorn became a popular snack in the US during WWII due to the sugar shortage.
- A popcorn kernel can jump up to three feet when popping!
- Popcorn is the state snack of Illinois.
- The world’s largest popcorn ball weighs over 9,000 pounds, is 8 feet in diameter, and more than 24 feet around. You can visit the popcorn ball in Sac City, Iowa.
- National Popcorn Day is celebrated on January 19 each year.
How Does Popcorn Work?
Popcorn kernels are made up of three parts – the shell, water, and starch. The water and starch heat up inside the shell (the recommended temperature for popping popcorn is 400F!) until the pressure builds enough to crack the shell, expanding and exploding outwards into what we know as popcorn.
This video from BrainStuff explains it more in-depth.
Watch Popcorn Pop in Slow Motion
Who doesn’t love a good slow-motion video?! Here’s a fun one showing us how popcorn pops. Notice the steam from the water trapped inside the kernel as it escapes into the air.
Because there’s a podcast episode for everything! Enjoy this Footnoting History episode on the history of popcorn.
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