For over 175 years, Christmas crackers have been a traditional part of Christmas festivities; Tom Smith created the wonderful invention of the Christmas cracker in 1847. On this page, you will learn about the brand, history and heritage of Tom Smith.
Tom Smith holds the Royal Warrant as Suppliers of Christmas Crackers and Wrapping Paper By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen. Tom Smith Ltd, part of IG Design Group UK, has been the proud holder of a Royal Warrant to The Monarch since 1906.
Swipe To Explore Key Moments From Our History
On a trip to Paris, an adventurous and forward-thinking Tom Smith discovered the ‘bonbon’ sugared almond wrapped in a twist of tissue paper. The sugared almond developed from the original French bonbon is presented in packaging which includes a love motto and twisted ends.
The almond disappears and is replaced by various toys, trinkets and jewellery.
After being inspired by the crackling sound of logs on the fire and following a period of experimentation, Tom Smith later came up with the cracking mechanism that created a ‘pop’ as the bonbon wrapping was broken. This later became the snap.
The basic shape of the cracker evolves to pretty much as we know it today and the ‘snap’ is introduced.
Following the death of Tom Smith the business was taken over by his sons Tom, Walter and Henry. It was Henry who later introduced the paper hats and toured the world looking for unusual ideas for the gift, whilst colour co-ordination crackers and boxes are introduced.
The introduction of crackers made out of crepe paper takes place.
Tom Smith were granted their first Royal Warrant, by the then Prince of Wales, which entitled them, in 1909, to become members of the Royal Warrant Holders Association.
Colourful centrepieces with crackers as decorations are introduced.
In December the reigning Monarch, King George V. granted Tom Smith his warrant followed by Queen Mary in 1911.
On March 23rd, Tom Smith was granted Queen Mary’s Royal Warrant, as manufacturers of Christmas Crackers. This warrant was renewed in 1938, and held by Tom Smith until her death in 1953.
The ultimate double-snap cracker is introduced.
On March 10th, the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Warrant was issued and was held by Tom Smith until her death in 2002.
On January 1st, the Prince of Wales Warrant was granted.
International Greetings acquires Tom Smith and begins design and production of all Tom Smith crackers and greetings products.
On 11th-14th July, Tom Smith exhibits in the gardens of Buckingham Palace at the Royal Coronation Festival. In September, the Queen Elizabeth II Royal Warrant was granted for the supply of Christmas wrapping paper.
Her Majesty The Queen Visits Tom Smith
Tom Smith welcomes Her Majesty The Queen & The Duke of Edinburgh to South Wales to officially open their new printing press facilities and show how the Christmas Crackers are designed and made.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson Visits Tom Smith
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s surprise visit to Tom Smith on Wednesday 11th December 2019 provided a unique opportunity to showcase our world class UK design, manufacturing and export facilities in the lead-in to the recent UK General Election.
Tom Smith Plants Tree For The Queen’s Green Canopy
The Queen’s Green Canopy is a unique tree-planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 which invites people from across the United Kingdom to Plant a Tree for the Jubilee.
Delve Into The Secret Tom Smith Archives