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The crackers date back to the middle of the 19th century and are said to be of French origin.
In their earliest form crackers in France were sweets or bon-bons enclosed in twists of colored paper. An English pastrycook by the name of Tom Smith saw these bon-bons while he was visiting Paris. Once he had returned home, he started to copy the idea of the wrapper, but added other small gifts, as well as slips of paper inscribed with jokes, wise sayings or advice concerning the future. Small toys and paper hats were other surprises that were included.
Smith's idea did not catch on at first, but on Christmas night 1846 while sitting by his fireplace he heard the crackling of the logs and came up with the idea of trying to imitate this sound. He did this by inserting a small explosive in the paper tube, which was set off with a bang by pulling from either side. This saw the birth of the popular named 'cracker'.
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