Over the weekend, Shawn-Laree and I went to the Barker Family Reunion at her cousin’s house near Middlebury, Indiana. We had a great time.
After dinner, the day-long rain had cleared and we took a walk in Middlebury, and we came across the Wanberg Popcorn Company.
I loved this place. It was completely custom: a factory made to make popcorn, and popcorn only:
Surrounded, necessarily, by grain elevators:
Deeply customized for the task at hand, including the Hutchinson Portable Grain Auger:
I looked this up, and discovered it was an American invention by a Kansan names Mayrath:
Martin Mayrath lived on his father’s farm near Dodge City, Kansas. As a young man he worked on the family farm and was aware of the strenuous labor associated with shoveling grain. In 1943, Mr. Mayrath invented the portable grain auger. By 1945, patents were issued to Mr. Mayrath for several of the key concepts still used in grain handling today.
Early production was accomplished in Dodge City, Kansas. In 1956, a new factory was built in Compton, Illinois. This new manufacturing facility was located in the heart of the grain-producing region. In 1973, Mayrath Industries was purchased by TIC United. Subsequently, Mayrath was moved to Clay Center, Kansas and in 1989 manufacturing was combined with Hutchinson Manufacturing to form Hutchinson/Mayrath, a Division of TIC United.
With timbers set in dirt to guide the auger where the concrete apron ends:
I loved the posters posted with pride in the lobby (“It’l pop”):
Mainly it was the sign: “Popcorn Plant for Sale”. Not a plant, not a factory, but a popcorn plant:
God bless America.