According to legend, in 1893 a unique popcorn, peanuts and molasses confection that was the forerunner to Cracker Jack caramel coated popcorn and peanuts is introduced by F.W. Rueckheim and Brother, at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago's first World's Fair.
In 1896 Louis Rueckheim, F.W.'s brother and partner, discovers the process for keeping the molasses-covered popcorn morsels from sticking together. Louis gives the treat to a salesman who exclaims, "That's crackerjack!" "So it is," says F.W. Rueckheim, who then has the words trademarked.
The song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is written in 1908 by Jack Norworth, who writes the lyrics during a 30-minute subway ride, and Albert Von Tilzer, who composes the music. Cracker Jack brand is immortalized with the third line, "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack."
"A Prize in Every Box" is introduced in 1912 when toys are inserted into every package. Sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo, first appear on packages in 1918.
In 1955 Cracker Jack begins advertising on television with the appearance of Cracker Jack on CBS-TV's "On Your Account" which was televised to 130 stations nationally.
Cracker Jack Memories
When I think of my childhood and candy, the first thing I think of is cracker jacks! I used to beg for a box of cracker jacks every time we went to the store. They used to always have them by the checkout lanes. I loved the crunchy caramel popcorn, but the big excitement was the prize! How I loved seeing what little booklet of tattoos I got. I used to prolong the thrill by forcing myself not to dig for it. I'd make myself eat 'til I got to it. It is so sad that I never come across cracker jacks in the store anymore. I would love to introduce my young daughter to a favorite of my childhood. ~ Erika from Ohio