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Who Invented Christmas Crackers?



The Origins And History Of Christmas Crackers And Who Invented Christmas Crackers:


Tom Smith



The inventor of Christmas Crackers was sweet maker, baker and pastry chef Tom Smith in London. He invented them in Victorian England in 1846 and they were first sold by his confectionary company in 1847.



History Of Christmas Crackers


Confectioner Tom Smith got the idea from sugar almond sweets he sold that were wrapped in twisted coloured paper. These were styled on bon bons sweets he had seen in Paris, France. Tom Smith made them more fun by enclosing a motto or romantic message in each confectionary. He named them Kiss Mottos.





The Invention Of The Snap Crack In Christmas Crackers


After the success of his original Xmas crackers he added a snap crack to each cracker as it was opened. Tom Smith got the idea from the sound of a cracking log on his open fire. He used the gunpowder compound saltpetre to ignite by friction the cracker to produce the sound with a chemically impregnated strip of card. He had to make the sweets larger so that the cracking components would fit in. Tom Smith then came upon the idea to replace the original sweet with a surprise gift and increase the size of the wrapper. He called his cracker a cosaque because the bang or cracking sound reminded him of the sound of a Cossack whip.





The Addition Of Paper Hats, Jokes And Novelties To Christmas Crackers

His product grew in popularity and soon became known as a Christmas cracker rather than cosaques. He opened a factory to increase production. His company grew and continued to manufacture Christmas crackers until 1953 when they merged with the company Caley Crackers.




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As the years progressed other items have been added such as a paper hat, jokes and joke or novelty toys. The paper hats were the idea of Tom's son Walter. His son also helped to write the mottos and sayings.





Modern Christmas Crackers

The shape of modern crackers is now a cylindrical cardboard tube with a paper type handle twisted on each end for two people to hold. The idea of Christmas crackers is to pull the cracker together and the winner of the contents of the cracker is the person who holds the end containing the items. Crackers remain a popular tradition of Christmas at parties and at Xmas dinner. Some cracker kits can be custom made with personalised gifts.





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