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An Old-Fashioned Popcorn Maker Is the Merriest Way to Holiday

The Whirley Pop looks like a piece of vintage kitchen equipment, but there’s no denying its popping chops.

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Photographer: Libby Volgyes for Bloomberg Businessweek. Prop stylist: Claire Perez

When the Whirley Pop popcorn maker was patented in 1980, shortly before microwave popcorn was introduced, it already looked like an antique. The stovetop device used a hand crank to turn a spider-legged metal stirring mechanism, which ensured the kernels didn’t stick and burn. Incredibly, the newest version looks even more vintage. The $67 copper-plated stainless steel Whirley Pop offers the same reliable performance but has the ability to camouflage itself among eye-pleasing copper cookware. Until movie time, that is, when it takes a star turn.

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