Peculiar Popcorn: Bradford man brings vintage popcorn trailer to Fall Festival

Ed Dougan, Bradford, middle, brought his 1927 Cretors steam engine popcorn popper to the Harriman-Nielsen Fall Festival Sunday. GREG FORBES/HAMPTON CHRONICLE

The smell of freshly popped popcorn cut the cool, rainy air at the Harriman-Nielsen Fall Festival Sunday.

The scent attracted a crowd to Ed Dougan’s popcorn stand, but there’s much more to the unique machine than a salty treat.

Dougan, of Bradford, obtained the antique 1927 Cretors and Co. steam-powered popcorn trailer about 20 years ago. The trailer is reminiscent of something often seen at circuses and carnivals in the early- to mid-1900s with its bright red exterior, gold text and white spoke wheels. A clown, which sits on top of the apparatus that stirs the popcorn, moves up and down as the popcorn pops.

“You just don’t see them around much anymore,” said Dougan.

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