The British Christmas cracker is an odd tradition, with commercial origins.

It was invented in the early Victorian era (1847), by Tom Smith, a London sweet shop owner.
He started out as an apprentice in an ornamental confectioner’s shop. From an early age, he developed a particular interested in wedding cake ornaments and decorations, and spent a lot of time creating new, improved designs.

On a trip to Paris in 1840, Tom noticed that French, sugar almond bonbons were wrapped in coloured tissue paper with a twist at each end.

Tom brought this design to London. These sweets were incredibly popular around Christmas, but sales would plummet in January. To further public interest, he began to include ‘love mottos’ in his sweets, which improved sales.

A design with a bang

Sitting by a crackling fire, one evening, Tom imagined the delight of a sweet that popped in the same way.

At the time, bangs were said to keep evil spirits at bay, and would naturally be thrilling for children.
To produce this bang, would wrap the sweet in a layer of paper that was treated with a chemical that would bang when rubbed. He then wrapped the sweet in a final outer layer.

Dropping the sweet

As demand for his new treats increased, Tom decided to rebrand them as Cosaques. He also exchanged the sweet for a surprise gift.

By Tirebuck Recruitment, one of the leading recruitment companies, Solihull based.