Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Good Deal Popped Up

I have never been one to call myself cheap. Thrifty, frugal, economical, maybe but not cheap.

But that doesn't mean I don't like cheap things.

One of the things we have really been trying to do is find cheap snacks. It seems like there are two kinds of snacks.
Type A) Expensive, fattening and delicious.


Type B) Cheap, nutritious, and unsatisfying.

Maybe that's an exaggeration, but not a very big one.

But one thing that Diann and I both like is popcorn. Now, you can go buy those bags of microwave popcorn, if you want, and I admit, they are quick and easy if you are desperate, but nothing beats the taste of real fresh popped corn.

We have a popcorn popper. It's a really nice one. It looks kind of like this:

It has a 12 oz kettle and is capable of popping about 250 oz. of corn an hour. For those of us who aren't math whizzes, I got out a pencil and paper and figured it out. That's about 15 lbs of unpopped corn. For reference, when you go to the movies and order a large popcorn, you are getting about 3 oz. so our popper can make somewhere around 80 large theatre sized popcorns an hour. (I bought this back in the mid 90's, and it was a thrifty deal when I got it, but that's a different story for a different day.)

So, we don't use it much at home. It's great for family reunions, neighborhood parties, or church and PTA carnivals, but for home we needed something a little smaller.

We have been looking, and to buy a new popcorn popper we couldn't find anything less than about $30, so we have been putting off buying one. We have been checking thrift stores, trying to find a used one, but all we could find were those air-pop poppers, and we weren't quite willing to sacrifice the flavor of "real" popcorn yet.

So Diann has been making popcorn the old fashioned way, in a 6 qt pot, on top of the stove. I've never made popcorn this way, and have no idea how to do it, so every time I wanted popcorn, I had to give Diann some subtle hints, like leaving the pot on the stove along with the canister of popcorn, a bottle of oil, and maybe a couple of empty bowls. (yeah I know, subtle isn't one of my strong points.)

The worst part of this deal is that since Diann made the popcorn, it was only logical that I should clean up. Burnt on oil is really hard to scrub out of the bottom of a stainless steel pot.

Well, the other night, at the thrift store, I found this treasure:

And what made it more of a treasure was the price. I paid $3.99.

Just for reference the same model popper, numbered 099 (mine is number 040) was listed on E-bay at the time I wrote this for $89.36.

It was made by the Robeson Cutlery Company at the Perry NY facility. There isn't a manufacture date on it, but it says "PAT PEND". Since some research on the company shows that they applied for the patent on this particular popper on January 17, 1966, and the patent was granted on October 12 1971, so I surmised that it was made between those dates.

A little bit of history on Robeson Cutlery:


Millard F. Robeson founded the company which bore his name in 1879 as a cutlery jobbing firm, operating from his home in Elmira, NY. Selling knives was, at first, a side-line but business grew. Robeson’s first storage area was his dresser drawers but, as additional space was needed, it overflowed into the closet and underneath the bed. Upon returning from a business trip and finding his cutlery inventory moved to the porch, he agreed with Mrs. Robeson that larger facilities were needed. They first came in the form of a new room added to the house, next a new building adjacent to the home, and finally a move to the New York town of Camillus.Read more.

And ending: the 1960’s Robeson soon found itself and its products out of place in a world of big companies, foreign competition, and demand for more basic, non-premium cutlery... ...In 1971, Ontario Knife Co., Franklinville, NY, bought what was left of Robeson cutlery business. The Perry cutlery facilities closed in 1972 with the Robeson line being discontinued in 1977. Read more.

We tried it out tonight.

Now all we need are a couple of good movies to watch.

I will be linking this post to a couple of different blog parties:

Vintage Thingie Thursday
at The Coloradolady


Thrifty Thursday
at Tales From Bloggaritaville


  1. Love that pretty glass scalloped edge bowl you used in the first picture. Oh, that's right, I picked that up at the indoor flea market for only .25 cents!! It does make a nice popcorn bowl. :)

  2. fun blog -- good stuff. I came to see you from Ruby Tuesday -- the tie post.

  3. Happy VTT, Troy,
    Great find, great snack what's the movie??

  4. I love it! What a great find, and all the information about it and the company. What do you put on your popcorn? Perhaps some of those herbs that are popping up out of your garden?

    Why don't you come on over to my blog and visit a while

  5. Lucky you....great find. Popcorn is my "all-time favorite snack"

    Thanks for visiting Pandora's your comment about the Milk Glass!...good laugh!

  6. That is a cool piece! I hope the popcorn was good! Happy VTT

  7. Well they do say good things come to those who wait ... and it was worth waiting for.
    Enjoy your popcorn Troy you deserve it!
    Warmest hugs.
    Sandi @ Bearly Sane

  8. You are too funny with your 'hints' for the wife to make you some popcorn! So subtle! It is fun to find great deals like you found! Somewhere I have an antique popcorn popper - it looks kind of like a crock pot with a clear plastic lid...the cord is one of those old kinds that look like insulated fabric in 'two tone', and its frayed and all. Must be one of the first kind to come out on the open market, I bet!

  9. You made me hungry for some nice old-fashioned popcorn. I tried making microwave popcorn and almost burned up my microwave.

  10. I remember those popcorn makers! Great post!!


  11. I must admit,I still make popcorn the "old" way, with lots of melted butter. I know I shouldn't but I do. Loved your was a wonderful vintage buy. Happy VTT, hope your weekend is a great one.

  12. We LOVE popcorn around here! I haven't ever seen a popcorn maker like that. Was it good? I've been making mine on the stove for years. I just use a big pot that I have. You know how it fills up and the lid starts to come up from the popcorn, I take it to the bowl and let it fall into the bowl. A popcorn seed that didn't pop hit me on the neck and fell into my shirt. I have a blister on my neck from where that thing landed! It hurts! It happened Saturday night! Gotta be careful popping that corn! lol I guess you'll need to tell your wife to be careful since she is the one who pops the corn at your house! hehehe

    Vintage Thingies Thursday!

  13. You two are a match made in heaven! A true partnership! I like the subtle hints too. I will do that sometimes when I want something done around the house, by putting a hammer on my husband's pillow. Works every time! Glad you found your popper, at YOUR price!
    Happy VTT!

  14. What a cool find, and at such a great price. Thanks for sharing it.


  15. That is a neat find! We eat a lot of popcorn late at night for a snack. I put the popcorn kernals in brown paper bag, put in microwave and let it go. It taste way better than the microwave popcorn bags you buy at the store. And better for you too :)

  16. Great deal and a great popcorn popper!

  17. That is what I use!!! I HATE.HATE.HATE microwave popcorn. My kids love it, but I want the taste I grew up with. A taste that I grew up with. Its light and it taste like corn. Nothing beats it!
    Great work!

    Thanks for linking up to Thrifty Thursday!


    Tales from Bloggertiaville

  18. We used to pop our corn with oil - - - - now we just "nuke" it.

    You are pretty close on your assessment of what snacks TASTE good.

  19. I love popcorn too. However, I just buy the mini packs and put them in the microwave. Works great for me.

  20. I love popcorn and even though I know it's not the best for me I still pop it on the stove with oil...delicious!!

  21. There is NO comparison between traditionally popped popcorn and the microwave stuff!

    The gadget you have is PRICELESS!!! What a deal!

  22. I remember these corn poppers. What fun to see them again. sorry I am so late, I want to throw my computer in the street.....Happy VTT!

  23. My Worker Bee would go nuts over this! He adores popcorn. You definitely got a good deal!

  24. I love popcorn and your popcorn popper is a winner! Great price and looks like a great vintage find! I am a huge fan of Diann's and didn't realize you blogged also. I'm now a follower!

    Always, Linda
    A La Carte

  25. My grandmother had a popcorn popper like that! This post brings back memories.

    Have a nice weekend!

  26. That is awesome! I used to live a few towns over from Perry, NY! My friend's parents own a restaurant there still today! :)

  27. I don't like microwaved popcorn and I got rid of the "air" popcorn popper years ago. But. . .you've inspired me to get out my electric popper that's about 40 years old and make real popcorn once again!