Popcorn king Orville Redenbacher’s statue at Central Park Plaza on Lincolnway in Valparaiso draws visitors who pose with the bronze figure with the popcorn-patterned bow tie.
Redenbacher and his partner, Charles Bowman, in 1965 developed a hybrid that popped bigger, fluffier kernels — and few unpopped kernels — by getting the moisture content just right for premium popping.
With the right marketing expertise, a popcorn empire exploded into existence. Popcorn became a snack industry staple. Americans annually devour 51 quarts per person, according to the Popcorn Board, an industry agency.
Orville Redenbacher lent this name to the signature gourmet popcorn he and Bowman created, but Orville's 1995 demise wasn't the end of the empire. Redenbacher popcorn remains popular today, although the company that owns the brand no longer operates a plant near Valparaiso.
(Times file photo)