Recently, we were delighted to receive this beautiful Tom Smith cracker, in pristine condition, from Jill Wood. Her grandmother sadly passed away at the great age of 97, and Jill found it in her loft, and got in touch with us to see if we would like to add it to the Tom Smith Archive.
We fondly refer to the way we look for pieces of our history as the “Tom Smith Treasure Hunt”. We want to produce an online museum that everyone can enjoy, so we were keen to take Jill up on her offer! Christmas crackers are always a testament to time shared with families, so we love being sent the things from our past that people find, and hearing the stories that come with them.
Clown cracker (2)
The cracker is in pristine condition – a testament to Jill’s grandmother. “She took great pride in her home and looking after things,” Jill said when she wrote to us. “We thought the cracker was quite unusual – and that it would find a happy home with you at Tom Smith.”
This particular clown cracker dates from between 1950 and 1960, so it would have been made in our original Norwich factory (which burned down in 1963, and was rebuilt in 1964).
Though it looks unusual to our modern eyes, at the time, Tom Smith offered a huge range of cracker designs, with everything from images of “Heroes of the Empire” to “Signs of the Times”!
Images of clowns and jesters had appeared on crackers at least since the early years of George V’s reign in the 1910s, and were popular throughout the 1920s and 1930s, too.
“I’m sure my grandmother would be thrilled that her saving it would be worthwhile,” Jill wrote in her letter. Jill, thank you so much for sharing this with us. We’re honoured to be able to celebrate this piece of personal history with you, and elated to have such an immaculate piece to add to the Tom Smith historical collection.
Our previous piece in the Tom Smith Treasure Hunt was a Party Crackers Box from the 1850s. We’re immensely pleased to be able to display Jill’s cracker alongside the box, bringing together these snapshots of Tom Smith’s history which were made 100 years apart.