Popcorn Wagon Gets a Makeover


The following article appeared in Dec. 16th edition of The Eagle Newspaper (http://TheEagleNewspaper.com). If you had your own subscription you'd also know all about the English-only debate in the Town of Jackson, the status of the Jackson recycling transfer station,  and much more.


SARATOGA – The Saratoga Automobile Museum is excited to announce another youth program that began Saturday, December 18. This year's SAM's garage build will be the refurbishing of the Museum's own 1925 Ford Model TT Cretor "Popcorn Wagon." This refurbishing education program is made possible by a grant given to the Museum by the State Farm Youth Advisory Board.

The SAM's Garage Educational Programming is one that began in 2009 when the Museum paired up with the Adirondack A's to rebuild a 1930's Ford Model A Huckster. "That original build went so well that the Museum decided to complete another project this year," said Education Development Director, Tracy Paige. "I look forward to this Saturday as we gather together 10 young adults and begin teaching them not only mechanics of this special automobile, but also the history that goes along with it."

The 1925 Model TT Ford originally purchased by Albert Rich of Cambridge, was a specialty vehicle made by C. Cretor that used a white gas powered engine that had a steam driven powerhouse for cooking up tasty popcorn, hot dogs and other treats. The unique vehicle, only one of two of its kind ever made, was driven by Rich, and then his daughter Dorothy Rich Madison, and became a mainstay for creating summertime memories along the Eastern Seaboard. Dottie and her family had traveled the fair circuit, working in Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut as well as much of eastern New York. Her father also drove the Model TT to Florida for a number of years to work fairs in the winter. After her father’s death at age 83, Dottie began selling popcorn herself on the weekends and later expanded to the Saratoga thoroughbred track, working through her vacation from her “regular” job. In her later years, she stayed in downtown Cambridge and people came to her, stoking fond memories for many generations of New Yorkers.

"One of our main goals of this restoration is for the "Popcorn Wagon" to be on the road for the upcoming summer season. The vehicle has become a staple at Lawn Shows at the Museum, but in 2011 we want to drive this piece of history back to it's hometown of Cambridge for their alumni day celebration in July." Said Tracy Paige.

This weeks lesson plan includes a 45 minute movie that is the complete history of the vehicle, that includes actual footage of the "Popcorn Wagon" being used in the streets of Cambridge. Then the work will begin, we will be stating the goal of the rebuild, rules and responsibilities of each student, a safety class will take place that will include not only safety of the students in the Museum but also the safety rules that need to be followed in a home garage when working on any vehicle. The students will be receiving drawings of the Cretor wagon from the original build in 1925 so they can learn about the mechanics of an era gone by. Our goal of this session is to remove the rear end of the vehicle for a rebuild, with that in mind, students will be learning about how to safely raise the vehicle and place it on jack stands. Explain and point out all aspects of the vehicle that is to be checked and rebuilt. We will then be asking students to discuss the differences between an antique and modern vehicle. Sounds like an exciting day for all involved.

Visitors to the Museum will be able to observe the students at work, as all of the mechanical work will take place in either Gallery B of the Museum or inside of the Museum's garage area.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located in the Saratoga State Park at 110 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY. If you have any further questions about this exciting project please feel free to contact Tracy Paige at 518-587-1935 x 17 or tracy.paige@saratogaautomuseum.org.