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Valparaiso in Porter County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The story of Orville Redenbacher and Charlie Bowman

 
 
The Story of Orville Redenbacher and Charlie Bowman Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lou Donkle, June 12, 2022
1. The Story of Orville Redenbacher and Charlie Bowman Marker
Inscription.  In the 1960s, the founders and partners of Chester, Inc., Charlie Bowman and Orville Redenbacher, developed and produced hybrid popcorn seed under the name Red Bow Popcorn (Red for Redenbacher and Bow for Bowman).

As one of the largest wholesale popcorn distributors in the Midwest, Red Bow Popcorn soon became popular and was known for its excellent quality and high popping volume. Thinking they had a winner with their product, Charlie Bowman felt they needed better branding recognition if they wanted to go nationwide in the retail market. They chose Orville's name and likeness to represent the brand. Today the name Orville Redenbacher is synonymous with popcorn throughout the world. Charlie and Orville were always proud to call Valparaiso their hometown for family and business.

Orville Redenbacher July 16, 1907 - Sept. 19, 1995
Charlie Bowman May 3, 1919 - April 8, 2009

Sculpture created by artist Lou Cella. Dedicated Sept. 4, 2012
 
Erected 2012.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture
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Location. 41° 28.06′ N, 87° 3.717′ W. Marker is in Valparaiso, Indiana, in Porter County. Marker is at the intersection of Lincolnway and Lafayette Street, on the right when traveling east on Lincolnway. The marker and statue are located at the north end of Central Park Plaza. Both are located under the overhead entrance structure located on Lincolnway 80 feet east of Lafayette Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Valparaiso IN 46383, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Sac Trail (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Lincoln Highway (about 300 feet away); Porter County (Indiana) Veterans (about 300 feet away); Site of the First School House in Valparaiso 1837 (about 700 feet away); Historical Society of Porter County Old Jail Museum (about 800 feet away); Porter County Memorial Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Kirchhoff Park (approx. 0.9 miles away); Site of Tassinong (approx. 8.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Valparaiso.
 
Also see . . .  Orville Redenbacher Popcorn History. Before he and partner Charlie Bowman bought the George F. Chester and Son seed corn plant near Valparaiso, Indiana in
Statue of Orville Redenbacher and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lou Donkle
2. Statue of Orville Redenbacher and Marker
1951. Orville Redenbacher spent about 15 years seeking the popcorn lover's version of the Holy Grail - a fluffier kernel that pops at a near- perfect rate. To find it, he pollinated an estimated 2.25 million stalks of corn, experimenting with some 30,000 hybrids.
"I suppose that my persistence and stubbornness were somehow responsible for what success I've had," Redenbacher once said. "I had been told I was looking for a will-o'-the-wisp, to leave well enough alone. I didn't listen." (Submitted on June 28, 2022, by Lou Donkle of Valparaiso, Indiana.) 
 
Entrance structure to the park where the marker and statue are located image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lou Donkle, June 12, 2022
3. Entrance structure to the park where the marker and statue are located
Statue of Orville Redenbacher image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lou Donkle
4. Statue of Orville Redenbacher
Statue of Orville Redenbacher image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lou Donkle, June 12, 2022
5. Statue of Orville Redenbacher
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 5, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 16, 2022, by Lou Donkle of Valparaiso, Indiana. This page has been viewed 921 times since then and 149 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 16, 2022, by Lou Donkle of Valparaiso, Indiana. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 24, 2024