Our History

A timeline of Tom Smith since 1847


On a trip to Paris, an adventurous and forward-thinking Tom Smith discovered the ‘bonbon’ sugared almond wrapped in a twist of tissue paper.┬áThe 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 January 1st, the Queen Elizabeth II Warrant was granted which is still held to this day.


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 Napier, 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.


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.


Tom Smith brand owned by Design Group is still the official supplier & Royal Warrant Holder of Christmas crackers to the Royal Household, which is held in high regard. Design Group are extremely honoured and proud to design the handmade bespoke crackers that are selected by the Royal Household.