Thursday, February 18, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday - Buy Me Some Peanuts And....

CRACKER JACK!



This Day in History: Ninety eight years ago today the first cellophane wrapped prize was inserted into a box of Cracker Jack!
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Cracker Jack was introduced at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893. It took a few years - 1896- to figure out how to keep the kernels separated in the box, and then in 1899 the "Eckstein Triple Proof Package" of heavily waxed paper was invented. Who doesn't know the 1908 song:
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Take me out to the ball game
Take me out to the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack
I don't care if I ever get back


Click here for original Edison recording
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The song is still part of the baseball game experience, sung at every game during the seventh inning stretch. Product placement at it's best, worth millions in advertising each time it's sung.
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This is one of a set of 16 vintage Cracker Jack postcards, circa 1905, offered by Rueckheim Brothers and Esckstein. - enlarge the card for the mailing instructions.
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Cracker Jack prizes circa 1920

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Since 1912, those little prizes, one per package, were quite a find. In the 50's we could hardly keep ourselves from just dumping the box to see what the surprise would be! An adjustable ring guaranteed to turn fingers green, a tiny magnifying glass, or perhaps a little plastic zoo animal on a stand! Popcorn, peanuts and a prize - all for a nickle. Quite a collector's item these days.
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Now there is just a little paper thing in each box. A sticker, a joke or a tattoo. Well, at least the treat tastes just the same! Even if it does come in a bag.
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Prizes were part of the deal even before the mascot, Cracker Jack, and his dog, Bingo, arrived on the scene. The Navy called his style uniform with neckerchief and side buttons a "cracker jack".

Run out and get a box ..er... a bag... to enjoy while you visit Marie's at The French Factrice. Your prize will be more Postcard Friendship Friday fun!

15 comments:

Bob of Holland said...

Very, very amusing (and informative) post and a great card. Happy PFF> Greetings from Amsterdam

dmarks said...

I haven't had Cracker Jack in a while.

Happy PFF!

Postcardy said...

I haven't had Cracker Jacks in a long time. I want a box, not a bag. My favorite part was the peanuts.

Snap said...

My hubby loves Cracker Jacks and the only time he has them is at a baseball game. We always play with the prize! Wonderful post! Happy PFF!

Linda said...

Hey, pitchers and catchers just reported. Perfect timing! Had no idea where cracker jack came from, and the 1908 version of the classic song is wonderful--so clear for an old recording. Thanks for posting, and happy PFF!

Debs said...

great post - when i was a kid in the UK there was a TV show called "Crackerjack" - it was always on friday evenings and really signaled the start of the weekend and that school was over for another week! "It's Friday, it's five o'clock. . . It's Crackerjack!"

I'm Just a Southern Girl said...

That's an interesting card..and itsnt it a shame our grandkids can't share the joy in finding a neat prize in the cracker jacks!

Mary said...

I always loved Cracker Jacks, too. Of course, my brothes and siste and I always hoped ours would be the best prize. Are you counting the days to Opening Day of Baseball?

Sheila said...

I remember the UK show called Crackerjack too. :) But it had nothing to do with your Cracker Jack. Here I have to put my hand up and say, not only do I not know the song, but I don't know what Cracker Jack is, or didn't until I read the post.

Aimee said...

I don't really care for Cracker Jacks, but as a kid I always ate them just to get that prize!

viridian said...

I remember the prizes, and I am getting the taste memory now.

Irene said...

I've given up sweets for lent, but right now, I'm tasting that Cracker Jack. Thanks for a great post.

steviewren said...

I loved Cracker Jacks. The nuts were my favorite part. I was so disappointed when they started putting rinky-dink prizes inside instead of the good ones they did when we were kids.

Dayhomemama said...

I remember they started putting crappy prizes back in the mid eighties, back when my Dad was a kids they were great. He used to have some but have long been lost. Thanks for sharing!

Stacey said...

What a great lesson! I love old Cracker Jack toys- especially the little animal charms... Happy (week late) Pff!