“A bang of expectation” now more commonly known as the Christmas cracker

"A bang of expectation" now more commonly known as the Christmas cracker. Image: Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

A Christmas dinner table isn’t complete unless you can pull a cracker containing a corny Christmas joke!

Crackers were first made in about 1845-1850 by a London sweet maker called Tom Smith. He had seen the French ‘bon bon’ sweets (almonds wrapped in pretty paper) on a visit to Paris in 1840 and when he got back to London he tried selling similar sweets which included a small motto or riddle but sadly, they didn’t sell well.

In 1861 Tom Smith launched his new range of what he called ‘Bangs of Expectation’!

Legend says that one night, while he was sitting in front of his log fire, he became very interested in the sparks and cracks coming from the fire. Suddenly, he thought what a fun idea it would be if his sweets and toys could be opened with a crack when their fancy wrappers were pulled in half.

When Tom died, his expanding cracker business was taken over by his three sons, Tom, Walter and Henry who introduced the hats into crackers.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]