Robert Brindley

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Christmas - The facts!! (2/10)

The Christmas Cracker

The cracker was devised in 1847 by an English confectioner and stationery manufacturer whilst on holiday in Paris with his family.
At a time when English sweets were still sold loose from the trays they were made in, his children discovered the Parisian Bon-Bons - coated sugar lollies prettily wrapped in a twist of coloured paper. He liked the idea so much that on his return to London he wrapped his lollies in similar paper, still including the mottos he had always put in.
It was the 'crackling' sound a log makes when throwing it onto a fire that gave Tom Smith the inspiration for the 'pop' sound Crackers are known for. A ' crackle' would add the necessary excitement and spark to his novelty 'bon bon'.
It was simply a matter of experimentation to find a compound which gave a satisfactory bang without going too far. Eventually, Tom perfected his chemical explosion to create a 'pop' caused by friction when the wrapping was broken. This became the snap and the Cracker as we know it was born!


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