Seaside History

Supersize Me!

December 19, 2012 | by Nate Burke

Seaside has always been known for its abundance of sweets and candy shops. When you’re a kid, as we all know, a treat was a special thing and was a bit more difficult to get your hands on in the early 1900s. This little feller pictured here likely coughed up a whole dime for a bag of hot, buttery popcorn. By the late 1920s, the hi-tech world of popcorn mechanics had undergone a booming renaissance and allowed for poppers to be safely installed in movie theaters and small mobile stands like the one pictured here.

During World War II, sugar rationing was in full effect and caused popcorn to become Seaside’s (and the nation’s) go-to replacement for candy and sweet treats. At this time, popcorn consumption skyrocketed to three times the pre-war rate.

The stand pictured here (circa early 1900s) was owned by Jay and Charlotte Bangs and then later operated by their daughter-in-law. Much like present day ice-cream trucks, the mobile stand would cruise all over town and was known to park at the top of Broadway next to the beach. Ignoring the delicious aromas drifting from the stand was probably darn near impossible, and I can imagine this young whippersnapper followed his nose and found himself smack dab in the middle of this mouth-watering transaction.

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