The Livingston Seed Company, Livingston's Seeds 1899 Annual, 1899, Back Cover. From the Libraries; digital collection, Seed Catalogs.
October is National Popcorn Popping Month.
Popcorn was first discovered thousands of years ago by the Native Americans in the United States. One of the oldest forms of corn, evidence of popcorn from 3600 B.C. was found in New Mexico. The English who came to America in the 16th and 17th centuries learned about popcorn from the Native Americans.—Wikipedia
Whether you pop yopur corn in a pan on the stove, or use an air popper, or wait to buy yours at the movie theater, popcorn is always a welcome treat.
During the Great Depression popcorn was comparatively cheap 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 some struggling farmers. During World War II, sugar rations diminished candy production, causing Americans to eat three times more popcorn than they had before.—Wikipedia
"You'll like it better, or my name isn't Orville Redenbacher," says the famous king of popcorn, whose July birthday is being celebrated by the Libraries. Orville, the smiling gentleman with a bow-tie and thick black glasses, was not a TV actor as some believe. He was a real person, born on July 16 in 1907 near Brazil, Indiana. His love of popcorn began in childhood, and he started growing his own popping corn hybrids at age 12, while in 4-H. Orville attended Purdue University, which awarded him a Bachelor's degree in agronomy in 1928. Eventually, Orville and a business partner developed an optimal popcorn hybrid that was light and fluffy and left a minimal amount of unpopped corn. Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn went on the market in 1971 and soon became a major success. According to Purdue University's page about Orville, his gourmet popping corn "is still the top-selling brand of popcorn in the United States." By the way, he is actually "Dr." Orville Redenbacher—Purdue awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1988.
Popcorn, which was discovered by Native Americans several thousand years ago, not only is a very popular snack but also can be a healthy one, depending on how it is prepared.
Check out this book about popcorn, published by the Smithsonian: