Tom Smiths Export Catalogue Cover 1917
ever wondered about the origins of the Christmas Cracker then
this book is one not to miss.
THE DEFINITIVE STORY OF A VERY ENGLISH TRADITION
- ALL YOU COULD WISH TO KNOW.
From the worlds leading expert on the
history of the Christmas Cracker, author Peter Kimpton brings
you his fascinating, in depth history of Tom Smith the man,
his accepted invention and the Christmas Cracker industry
since the 1840’s - in theUK, Europe and North
America - featuring hundreds of as yet unpublished facts
and many illustrations.
After many years research,
I am at last able to offer a comprehensive history of the man and
his accepted invention,
covering the development and spread of the Christmas Cracker both
here in the UK and around the world as far as it is known.
Apart from the basic history of Tom Smith from the time when he first set up in business on his own account in the later 1840’s (and who, during his sadly short life came to be known by many Victorians as “The King of Crackers”), my book, amongst other things, covers his company’s wonderful box graphics, various competitors along the way, mergers, takeovers, wartime factory destruction both in London and Norwich, together with the personal reminiscences of skilled and knowledgeable people who worked with the UK Cracker industry over many years.
An early illustration of the Tom Smith factory (known as
the Steam Works) in Wilson St. Finsbury – as featured
in one of the company’s 1886/1887 catalogues ©
you know that the great English artist A.J. Munnings actually
designed Cracker boxes in his youth?
you ever heard of “The
Castle of the Cracker King.” What contents go into the Royal
Crackers? Read about the Crackers produced for Prince Charles and
Princess Diana’s wedding. What do know about Snaps and Scraps
or "Animates" Crackers-created in conjunction with the
famous Wade Pottery, producers of the renowned "Whimsies".
How about love Mottoes and Corny Jokes? Could some of the Tom Smith’s
box designs be classed as racist? Who were Eliza Collingham, Matilda
Brown and G. Sparagapane? Did Tom Smith really invent the Cracker
at all? If you are in any way interested in the great English tradition
of the Christmas Cracker, then this book will tell you all you
need to know.