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Fascinating facts about the invention of Cracker Jack by F.W. Rueckheim in 1896. CRACKER JACK®
A special strain of popping corn was hybridized by Native Americans as long ago as 800 A.D. Some New England tribes coated the corn with heated maple syrup in order to preserve it.
Cracker Jack Logo (4K) A unique popcorn, peanuts, and molasses confection that was the forerunner to CRACKER JACK® Caramel Coated Popcorn & Peanuts was introduced by F.W. Rueckheim at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago's First World Fair. The company is called F.W. Rueckheim and Brother.

Louis Rueckheim , F.W.'s brother and partner, discovers the process for keeping the molasses-covered popcorn morsels from sticking together. This secret formula is still in use - and is still a secret - to this day. Louis Rueckheim gives the treat to a salesman who exclaimed "That's a Cracker Jack!" "So it is," said F.W. Rueckheim, who had the words trademarked in 1896.

The CRACKER JACK® brand is immortalized with the third line of the 1908 song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", "Buy me some peanuts and CRACKER JACK®." "A Prize in Every Box" is introduced in 1912 when toys are inserted into every package. In 1918, SAILOR JACK™ and his dog, BINGO™, first appear on packages. SAILOR JACK™ was modeled after F.W. Rueckheim's young grandson, Robert.

Columbus, Ohio-based Borden, Inc. purchases the Cracker Jack Company. It becomes the CRACKER JACK® division of Borden, Inc. in 1964. Frito-Lay purchases CRACKER JACK® brand from Borden in 1997.


History of Snacks and Food  from The Great Idea Finder

Cracker Jack Toys: The Complete, Unofficial Guide for Collectors
Larry White / Paperback / Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.; (January 1, 2000)
Rediscover every toy and prize you ever pulled out of a Cracker Jack box in this wonderful guide!
Comprehensive in scope, toys from the late nineteenth century on up to the 1990s are recorded,
Accidents May Happen: 50 Inventions Discovered by Mistake (Limited Availability)
by Charlotte Foltz Jones, John O'Brien (Illustrator) / Hardcover - 86 pages (1996) / Delacorte
Fifty inventions discovered by mistake serious subjects which will delight and entertain kids.

Snackfood Tech
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / History Channel / 74171 / Less than $25.00
It's a world of creamy fillings, frosted tops and salty morsels. It's a multi-billion dollar industry where recipes are closely guarded secrets. It's an American obsession. See what happens before M&Ms get to "melt in your mouth" at Masterfoods USA, the world's largest candy manufacturer. At each stop, we'll meet the men and women who keep these tasty treats coming and the formulators who are working to create the next snack sensation.

Cracker Jack Facts
Official Web site of Frito-Lay the new makers of Cracker Jack.
Cracker Jack
The official Cracker Jack site opened March, 1999 with games and lots of peanuts and popcorn.
Cracker Jack History

CRACKER JACK® is introduced by F.W. Rueckheim at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.
Cracker Jack Collectors Association
The place where collectors of Cracker Jack meet.
A Cracker Jack Home Page
This site is devoted to Cracker Jack Prizes.
Present At The Creation
Watch a classic Cracker Jack commercial, a movie scene starring the snack and footage from the factory. Listen to the Cracker Jack jingle and the early recording of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
Music for a Cracker Jack Party
"The Cracker Jack Two Step" was published in 1896. Lots to see at this site.
World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893
Among the many products introduced at the fair
were Cracker Jacks, Aunt Jemima Syrup, Cream of Wheat, Pabst Beer, and Juicy Fruit gum.
The Cracker Jack Box
This site is dedicated to Cracker Jack Collecting, Cracker Jack prizes and Cracker Jack ads,


  • Since 1912, more than 17 billion toys nave been included as prizes in Cracker Jack packages.
  • Sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo, were added to boxes in 1918.
  • Every year more than 100 million toy prizes are used.
  • Every day, 3,000 pounds of molasses sweeten batches of Cracker Jack.
  • The song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was written by two men who would not see a baseball game until years after they had composed their "baseball anthem."
CRACKER JACK® -is a registered Trademark of Frito-Lay
Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised March, 2005.

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