5-6 October 2017

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Lot 213

1903 Cretors Model C Custom Popcorn Wagon

  • Chassis no. 3427

Sold for $26,450

Please note that this lot is offered on a Bill of Sale.

  • Unique custom-built Cretors wagon
  • Original features, updated to electric power, gas popper
  • Ready to delight children young and old

Charles Cretors, a Decatur, Illinois, confectioner, was disappointed with a steam-powered peanut roaster he had purchased. An inventive soul, he set out to make a better one, which was operating by 1891. He then devised a steam-powered machine that would roast 12 pounds of peanuts and 20 pounds of coffee, and also pop corn and bake chestnuts. By 1900 he was selling horse-drawn popcorn and peanut vending wagons,
painted in bright colors and lettered in gold leaf.

Although most Cretors Popcorn Wagons were ordered from the company catalogue, other options were available. This Model C wagon was custom built in 1903 for a bank in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The bank used it as a promotion for many years, including small replica trinkets and penny banks in the wagon’s image. A series of children’s books was written about the wagon and a mouse character.

When the bank was reorganized in 1970, the wagon went into retirement and was stored for some 20 years. Then it was purchased by Dennis Koepsell, a serious Cretors collector, who restored it at his Eagle River, Wisconsin, facility. The current owner purchased it from Koepsell in 2005, in order to start a second career in the historic city of Delafield, Wisconsin.

As presented, it has original windows, doors, woodwork, beveled glass signage, solid brass finials, awning, steam whistle, and “Roasty” clown, intact and in good condition. The steam engine is a replica of the original, built by Robert Pearson, the recognized expert on Cretors wagons, for Dennis Koepsell. The steam drums have been removed; the steam engine, Roasty clown, and whistle now operate from an electric motor. The drum areas have been converted to service areas. An antique Sweda cash register is included with the wagon, as well as a 1964 Cretors 32-ounce gas popper, fully operational, and a new flatbed trailer for easy transport.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more