Tonight, we’ll read “Pop Corn Recipes” by Mary Hamilton Talbott, published in 1916.
Corn was domesticated about 10,000 years ago, in what is now Mexico. Archaeologists discovered that people have known about popcorn for thousands of years. Fossil evidence from Peru suggests that corn was popped as early as 4,700 BC.
Through the 19th century, popping of the kernels was achieved by hand, on stove tops.
During the Great Depression, popcorn was fairly inexpensive at 5–10 cents a bag and became popular. Thus, while other businesses failed, the popcorn business thrived and became a source of income for many struggling farmers, including the Redenbacher family. The snack was popular at theaters, much to the initial displeasure of many of the theater owners, who thought it distracted from the films. Their minds eventually changed, however, and Popcorn became more profitable than theater tickets.