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Cracker Jack memorabilia.

Wyandot Popcorn Museum

Field review by the editors.

Marion, Ohio

A hundred years ago, watching popcorn pop was entertainment. Several companies specialized in designing elaborate, steam-powered machines that turned popping into a whirring, clattering spectacle. Most were wheeled around city streets by peddlers. The biggest models -- as large as a modern minivan -- had to be pulled by horses.

The Wyandot Popcorn Museum, which opened in 1982, contains dozens of these fancy machines, meticulously restored and displayed indoors under a 14-foot-high circus tent. They are the showstoppers in what is the world's largest collection of popcornabilia, although visitors will also find showcases of popcorn packaging and a Cracker Jack collection of merchandise, including 50 years worth of cheap plastic prizes.

Pop Corn Museum.

The popcorn-spectacle machines in the museum extend into the 1950s, when they had moved indoors into the lobbies of movie theaters (Theaters had originally kicked the peddlers off their sidewalks, then, realizing how much money was being made, invited them inside, split the profits, then kicked them out again as soon as indoor machines were available).

The town of Marion was for years a center of the popcorn industry, calling itself "Popcorn Capital of the World," but its last popcorn factory closed in 2014.

Wyandot Popcorn Museum

169 E. Church St., Marion, OH
Downtown, in the old neoclassical post office (sharing the building with the county historical social), on the southeast corner of Hwy 95/E. Church St. and S. State St.
Summer W-Su 1-4; weekends only off-season. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $4.
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