Variety fo Tom Smith Christmas Cracker Designs
Tom Smith made wonderful crackers. In the early days there was an extremely large variety of specialist boxes including Wedgwood Art Crackers from original designs by permission of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons. There were also designs such as Japanese Menagerie crackers containing the latest novelties from Japan where were specially manufactured and imported. These included animals, birds and reptiles and even mottoes in Japanese.
The Company was very aware of current affairs and the political and leisure activities of each period. Crackers were created for the Suffagettes, War Heroes, Charlie Chaplin, The Wireless, Motoring, The Coronation and even The Channel Tunnel in 1914. Exclusive crackers were also made for the Royal Family and still are to this day.
During the Second World War, restrictions were placed on the production of cracker snaps. The Ministry of Defense commissioned Tom Smith to fold and tie bundles of three to six snaps together with special string and regulation knots. These bundles were then used by soldiers in training as, when the string was pulled, they mimicked the noise of machine gun fire. After the war, vast quantities of these surplus cracker snaps were released back into the cracker trade.
As the demand for crackers increased, Tom Smith merged with Caley Crackers in 1953 taking over their headquarters and factory in Norwich, East Anglia. Further mergers took place over the following years with Mead and Field, Neilson Festive Crackers and Mason and Church - each specialists in their own particular field.
Tom Smith is now owned by Brite Sparks Ltd, a division of International Greeting Plc and is the largest manufacturer of Crackers in the world.