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Cracker Jack
(Invented 16 Jun 1893)

American inventor R.W. Rueckheim introduced his unique popcorn, peanuts, and molasses confection at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago's First World Fair.

Charles Augustin de Coulomb

Cracker Jack Advertisement
The Red Cross Magazine (1919)

Cracker Jack - Recipe

Candy Making for Children

by Maria A. Hawley

from Good Housekeeping (1901)

Two cups of sugar, one cup of molasses, one tablespoon of butter and two of vinegar; boil until the mixture snaps in cold water, then take from the fire and add half a teaspoon of soda; stir briskly and pour over the popped corn; stir thoroughly. Add peanuts with the corn if nut cracker jack is wanted.

Manufacture of Cracker Jack

from Pure Products (1910)

For the manufacture of Cracker Jack the best selected popcorn is used. The corn is passed into a revolving popper and popped, care being taken to avoid burning the grains. Immature and defective grains, as well as the half-popped grain, are separated from the fully popped corn in a wind separator. The popped corn is then transferred into revolving churn vats containing syrup. The desired proportion of peanuts is then added and the churn revolved until the contents are intimately mixed. The mixture is then put into shallow pans to dry, the drying being continued to the point where not more than 2% moisture remains. Human hands seldom touch the Cracker Jack in its manufacture. After drying the Cracker Jack is put in pasteboard cartons, which have been previously dipped in melted paraffin. It is said that a Chicago house puts up 200,000 packages per day and is behind with its orders. If the boxes containing the Cracker Jack are carefully sealed the product will retain its desirable quality for a long time.

Home recipe from: Maria A. Hawley, ‘Candy Making for Children’, Good Housekeeping (1901), 33, 532 (source). ''Manufacture of Cracker Jack' in Scientific Station for Pure Products, Pure Products (1910), 6, 589 (source). Advertisement from American National Red Cross, The Red Cross Magazine (1919), 14, No. 6, 92 (source).

See also:
  • Today in Science History Icon 16 June - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of invention of Cracker Jack.
  • Book Recommendation Cracker Jack Toys, by Larry White - book recommendation.
  • Booklist Icon Booklist for Cracker Jack.
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