Tom Smith Brand History

Explore the history of Tom Smith, home of the original Christmas Cracker since 1847

For 150 years, Christmas crackers have been a traditional part of Christmas festivities; Tom Smith created the wonderful invention of the Christmas cracker in 1847.

Tom Smith Crackers were granted their first Royal Warrant in 1906, and today the Tom Smith brand owned by IG Design Group UK Ltd is still the official supplier 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.

Tom Smith Crackers have a historic spirit and a breath of heritage which is represented in the designs.

Every year we research the current trends and markets to ensure our crackers are the market leaders, `demonstrating new innovative designs and concepts that are created every year to keep the interest, air of Christmas and the tradition alive, as well as refreshing the content and jokes, we ensure that they remain classic and traditional in how they look and feel.

 

 

History Timeline

Delve into the rich story of the Tom Smith brand by exploring our history timeline.

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. The sugared almond developed from the original French bonbon is presented in packaging which includes a love motto and twisted ends.

1849

The almond disappears and is replaced by various toys, trinkets and jewellery.

1850

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.

1860

The basic shape of the cracker evolves to pretty much as we know it today and the ‘snap’ is introduced.

1880

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.

1890

The introduction of crackers made out of crepe paper takes place.

1906

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.

1909

Colourful centrepieces with crackers as decorations are introduced.

1910

In December the reigning Monarch, King George V. granted Tom Smith his warrant followed by Queen Mary in 1911.

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.

1934

The ultimate double-snap cracker is introduced.

1964

On January 1st, the Queen Elizabeth II Warrant was granted which is still held to this day.

1975

On March 10th, the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Warrant was issued and was held by Tom Smith until her death in 2002.

1987

On January 1st, the Prince of Wales Warrant was granted.

2005

International Greetings acquires Tom Smith and Napier, and begins design and production of all Tom Smith crackers and greetings products.

2013

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.

2014

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.

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Today

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.