Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Cabinet card of Inventor and his Corn Popper

In Photographs > Cabinet Card Photographs > Show & Tell and Kitchen > Show & Tell.
Cabinet Card Photographs367 of 399Patriotic boy and his bicycle in Houston, TXCabinet card of floral still life c. 1890
Love it
Like it

tom61375tom61375 loves this.
cogitocogito likes this.
rniedermanrniederman loves this.
tlmbarantlmbaran likes this.
VintageArgentinaVintageArgentina likes this.
BeauxPurdyBeauxPurdy loves this.
walksoftlywalksoftly loves this.
vetraio50vetraio50 loves this.
ThriftStoreAddictThriftStoreAddict loves this.
lisalisa loves this.
See 8 more
Add to collection

Please create an account, or Log in here

If you don't have an account, create one here.

Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

Posted 7 years ago

(854 items)

This cabinet card depicts inventor John Bell Davis of Santa Rosa, California with his patented "Corn Popper".

The cabinet card is a studio shot and shows Davis holding the popper over painted flames near the studio fireplace.

Davis filed his patent request on 12 APR 1886 and received his patent (No. 365,586) on 28 JUN 1887.

I believe this photograph was taken after Davis recieved the patent as it shows an improvement not mentioned in his paperwork. The photograph shows a small metal stand that supports the weight of the popper, making it easier on the user and preventing the popper from getting too close to the heat source.

I do not know if the popper was ever commercialy produced.

Reproduction of this image in any form is not authorized.



  1. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
    Thanks Lisa and ThriftStoreAddict.
  2. solver solver, 7 years ago
    Scott, you were fortunate to locate the filed patent for the corn popper, which really authenticates the photograph. Great research and observation that there is a slight modification in the one shown in the photo. Mr. Davis so proudly memorialized his accomplishment. He probably didn't do a good marketing job since a plethora of corn poppers were produced after his and none had his name.

    Some minutiae:
    Davis was a Master Mason of the Santa Rosa Lodge, No. 57, Sonoma County, California.
    Source: "Proceedings of the M. W. Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Jurisdiction of California, at its Fiftieth Annual Communication Held at the Masonic Temple, in the City of San Francisco, Commenced on Tuesday, October 10th, A.D., 1899 ..."

    John Bell Davis is also one of the subjects of three books held by the Sonoma County Library: "History of Santa Rosa Lodge #57," "Central Sonoma," and "History of Sonoma County."

    The photographer Piggot & Shaw (James K. Piggott), Santa Rose, CA, photograph gallery was almost destroyed by a fire on April 6, 1887.
  3. solver solver, 7 years ago
    oops, broke the link above.

  4. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
    Thanks for the additional information solver.

  5. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
    Thanks vetraio.

  6. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
    Thanks walksoftly.

  7. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    Thanks Purdy, bratjdd and Argentina.

  8. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    Thank you much tlmbaran.

  9. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    Thanks for looking rob!

  10. cogito cogito, 6 years ago
    Very cool. Looks like it might work well, though I suspect it was designed as a single-serving device.
  11. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    Yes-- I think it was small capacity by today's standards, but in the era it probably fed 2-3 people!

  12. scottvez scottvez, 5 years ago
    Thanks tom.


Want to post a comment?

Create an account or login in order to post a comment.